Hamas says any Israeli ground attack in Rafah would ‘blow up’ hostage exchange talks


(Reuters) – Any Israeli ground attack in Rafah on the Gaza border would “blow up” hostage exchange talks, Hamas-run Aqsa television channel quoted a senior Hamas leader as saying on Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he had ordered the army to evacuate Rafah and develop a plan to destroy four Hamas battalions stationed there.

Most of the displaced have sought refuge in Rafah on the Egyptian border, but after ceasefire talks remained inconclusive, Netanyahu said this week that Israeli forces would keep fighting until “complete victory.”

war in israel and gaza

TOPSHOT - A Palestinian woman cries while inspecting a heavily damaged apartment following an Israeli bombardment of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on February 8, 2024, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas enters its fifth month.  (Photo by Saeed Khatib/AFP) (Photo by Saeed Khatib/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel’s military had ordered civilians to flee southward before previous attacks on Gaza cities, but now there is no obvious place to go and aid agencies have said many could die.

The conflict in Gaza began on 7 October when Hamas gunmen attacked border defenses in Israeli towns, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 250 hostages back to Gaza, according to Israeli figures. took away.

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Israel responded with massive bombings and ground attacks, killing more than 28,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to medical officials in Hamas-run Gaza.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Ellen Hardcastle)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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