Israel steps up attacks on Rafah as Hamas shifts position on Cease-fire in the Middle East

SB Nation

The Israeli military ordered the evacuation of over 100,000 Palestinians from parts of Rafah on Monday morning.
Mr. Netanyahu said last week that he would carry out an offensive in Rafah “with or without” an agreement.
Late in the day, the Israeli military said it was carrying out “targeted strikes” on in eastern Rafah.
Critics had accused Mr. Netanyahu of scuttling the latest round of hostage talks, which appeared to have stalled over the weekend.
Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly said Israel will invade Rafah with or without a cease-fire deal.
In public, at least, Hamas has rejected a long-term Israeli military presence in the Palestinian enclave, including a buffer zone.
But that would leave Mr. Netanyahu totally dependent on some of his harshest critics in the opposition — a political alliance unlikely to last long.
“I am really so worried about my whole family.” But Mr. Netanyahu has remained defiant.

NEUTRAL

The war cabinet unanimously resolved, according to the prime minister’s office, that Israel would carry out its military operations in the city in order to put pressure on Hamas, as Israeli forces conducted strikes in the eastern part of Rafah. The office stated that all of Israel’s war objectives, including hostage-taking, were intended to be achieved by this decision.

A permanent cease-fire was the primary objective of the three-phase plan, which senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya stressed in an interview with Al Jazeera. Hamas was willing to accept this proposal, he added.

In a post on the organization’s Telegram channel at 7:36 p.m., Hamas’s political wing leader, Ismail Haniyeh, initially detailed the group’s new stance. M. within Israel. His remarks came the day after Hamas fired rockets close to the Kerem Shalom crossing in the area separating southern Gaza from Israel, killing four soldiers, and hours after Israel had ordered residents of a portion of Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, to evacuate in anticipation of an imminent offensive there.

Hey, Mr. Haniyeh claimed to have informed the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service and the prime minister of Qatar that Hamas had agreed to “their proposal.”. Egypt did not respond right away.

Hamas had “issued a response,” according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, and the US was reviewing it with regional allies.

After negotiations came to a standstill and the Hamas negotiators were unable to agree upon Israel’s most recent offer with the mediators, they departed Cairo on Sunday.

The length of the cease-fire has been the primary obstacle in the indirect negotiations that Qatar and Egypt are mediating. Israel seeks a brief cessation of hostilities to enable the exchange of Palestinian prisoners for hostages held in Gaza, while Hamas demands a permanent cease-fire that would effectively put an end to the seven-month conflict.

Hey, Mr. Along with a complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the repatriation of displaced people to their homes, and a “real and serious” hostage-for-prison swap for Palestinian prisoners, al-Hayya, who has been leading Hamas delegations at face-to-face negotiations in Cairo, said that the new offer also included these details.

Israel conceded on a few points in its most recent proposal, such as accepting the return of Palestinians who had been displaced to northern Gaza and lowering the number of hostages it would accept being released during the first stages of any agreement.

The main spokesperson for the Israeli military, Rear Adm. “We examine each response and reply in a very serious matter, and maximize every opportunity in the negotiations to secure the release of the hostages as a core mission,” stated Daniel Hagari during a news briefing on Monday night. However, he added that Israeli forces would “continue operating” in Gaza at the same moment.

On Monday morning, the Israeli military issued an order for more than 100,000 Palestinians to leave certain areas of Rafah. Amid concerns for the safety of the 1.4 million people seeking shelter in the city, Israeli leaders have been vowing for months to launch an invasion with the goal of driving out Hamas forces.

Reporting assistance was provided by Aaron Boxerman and Michael Crowley.

According to the two officials, Israel must now determine whether to reach a deal or not, as Hamas has responded seriously. They said the plan calls for a 42-day cease-fire and the release of a far greater number of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Hamas freeing hostages, including women, the elderly, and those in need of medical attention. Although Israel had requested 33 hostages, it is unclear how many women and elderly people are still alive, and remains may be included in the first tranche.

That would be the first of three stages in which each party would take reciprocal action. More hostages would be released as part of the second phase, according to the officials, as the two sides attempted to achieve a “sustainable calm.”. The warring parties would probably disagree on what constitutes “sustainable calm,” according to both officials. “.

Regarding the term, one of the Middle East officials stated that Hamas saw it as the end of the war, with Israel ceasing its military operations and removing its troops from Gaza. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, was predicted, according to the officials, to challenge that interpretation.

Israel objected to any mention of a “permanent cease-fire,” according to one official, so the negotiating parties agreed to adopt the term “sustainable calm” weeks ago. Officials from Israel have repeatedly stated that they are against any deal that expressly stipulates that or that the war must end.

Hey, Mr. Burns is in the area to work on the proposals and counterproposals. Burns has served as the principal representative of the United States in the negotiations. The two officials stated that he had a conversation with mediators from Qatar and Egypt on Monday regarding the adjustments that Hamas was prepared to embrace. One official claimed that although Hamas claimed to have proposed the changes, they had been proposed by Arab mediators. On Tuesday in Cairo, Mr. Burns is anticipated to be present at the talks.

Even though the new proposal did not satisfy Israel’s demands, the Israeli prime minister’s office stated that the nation would still send a working-level delegation to the negotiations in the hopes of coming to a mutually agreeable agreement. An U. s. An official stated that negotiating the changes put forth by Hamas and working through outstanding issues was the goal of the Cairo negotiations.

The Foreign Ministry of Qatar announced that a delegation from that country will also be present at the talks on Tuesday. The ministry also expressed the “hope that the talks will culminate in reaching an agreement for an immediate and permanent” cease-fire, the exchange of prisoners and hostages, and the provision of “sustainable” aid to the entire Gaza Strip.

Israel said on Monday that its war cabinet had unanimously decided to keep up military operations in Rafah to put pressure on Hamas. The chances of an agreement being reached could be compromised by that announcement and the beginning of any offensive in the city. Mr. Netanyahu declared last week that he would launch an attack in Rafah “with or without” a deal.

U. S. Without a proper plan from Israel to reduce civilian casualties and a humanitarian crisis, officials say they oppose any operation of that nature. A single U. s. The Israeli military’s Monday strikes in eastern Rafah, according to an official, seemed to be the start of a smaller operation rather than the beginning of a bigger assault. Over a million Palestinians have taken refuge in Rafah after fleeing Israel-attacked areas of Gaza.

Reporting from Jerusalem was contributed by Adam Rasgon.

Check out the recent, bewildering turn of events.

April 29, Monday.

With a glimmer of hope for a resolution, Israeli officials announced that their negotiators had lowered the number of hostages they desired Hamas to free during the initial stages of a truce.

May 2, a Thursday.

A representative of Hamas will soon travel to Cairo to “complete ongoing discussions” on a cease-fire agreement, according to a Hamas official.

This Saturday, May 4.

Negotiations have begun. A top Hamas official texted that the group’s delegates had arrived in Cairo and were responding to the most recent proposal “with great positivity.”.

May 5, Sunday.

Hamas announced that its delegation had left Cairo after the indirect negotiations, which are conducted through mediators, came to a standstill. The negotiations are in a “crisis,” according to an Israeli official. “.

Four Israeli soldiers were killed when Hamas fired rockets at a border crossing between Gaza and Israel late in the day. Israel intensified its offensive against Gaza.

May 6, a Monday.

Although the terms of the cease-fire were taken from an offer made by Egypt and Qatar, rather than from Israel’s, Hamas declared that it accepted them.

It seemed to be a notable timing. Israel’s order for residents to leave certain parts of Rafah suggested that Israeli forces may be ready to invade the heavily populated city of refugees, which is why the announcement was made. The Israeli military declared late in the day that it was conducting “targeted strikes” in eastern Rafah.

It’s possible that the strikes are an effort to put more pressure on Hamas negotiators. The Israeli prime minister’s office stated late in the day that Hamas’s most recent cease-fire proposal was inadequate, continuing a week of conflicting signals.

Then it declared that it would still send a working-level delegation back to the Cairo negotiations.

The Israeli military announced on Monday night that it was “conducting targeted strikes against Hamas terror targets in eastern Rafah.”. “.

The military had earlier in the day dropped leaflets in eastern Rafah instructing residents to temporarily flee to what it called a humanitarian zone. The leaflets also stated that phone calls, texts, and Arabic-language broadcasts would be used to notify residents.

The evacuation is “part of plans to dismantle Hamas” and return hostages taken on October 31, according to an Israeli military spokesman, who would not specify when or if troops would enter the city. 7.

Following the announcement on Monday that there had been “escalating Israeli airstrikes” in areas east of Rafah, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said thousands of people were leaving the city. It was unclear right away how many people were killed.

More than a million civilians have crowded into Rafah to flee fighting elsewhere, so Israel’s closest allies, including the US, have been pleading with it not to launch a significant ground operation there. Netanyahu, the prime minister, has, however, consistently dismissed these requests, stating that Israel must protect itself and destroy Hamas, which launched an attack on the country on October 10. 7.

The White House said that President Biden “reiterated his clear position on Rafah” during a phone conversation with Mr. Netanyahu a few hours after the evacuation order.

Locals informed.

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to relocate there.

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space beneath.

fresh evacuation.

arrangement.

Rafah.

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traversing.

ZAZ.

TRIP.

Egypt.

Kerem Shalom.

traversing.

Locals revealed.

to stay away from the north.

GAZA.

STRIP.

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Israel.

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to relocate there.

this location.

Khan.

Younis, please.

area beneath.

fresh escape.

in a row.

Rafael.

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traversing.

Egypt.

Shalom Kerem.

traversing.

The directive was issued the day after officials declared that negotiations over the release of hostages and a cease-fire had reached a deadlock because Israel and Hamas remained diametrically opposed to the length of any truce. While Mr. Netanyahu has stated that Israel would invade Rafah with or without an agreement, Hamas demands a permanent cease-fire. Instead, he is willing to only temporarily halt the fighting.

The head of Gaza’s government media office, which is run by Hamas, Salama Marouf, said in a statement on Monday that the evacuation order demonstrated how Israel “went into truce negotiations deceptively without abandoning the idea of a broad aggression against Rafah.”. He described the declaration as “a real test of the seriousness” of the nations that had issued the warnings against a city invasion.

At a speech commemorating Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu reiterated his pledges to destroy Hamas and promised that Israel “will defeat our genocidal enemies” in English. “.

Spokesman for the Israeli military Lt. Col. According to Nadav Shoshani, the rocket attack on Sunday near the Kerem Shalom border crossing by the armed wing of Hamas killed four Israeli soldiers and served as a “violent reminder” of the group’s presence in Rafah. Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who leans far right, posted on social media following the attack, saying, “Netanyahu, go to Rafah now!” The attack originated from a location close to the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Prior to advancing on Rafah, the Israeli government announced approximately two weeks prior that they would enlarge a humanitarian area in neighboring Al-Mawasi where residents could seek refuge. In addition to field hospitals, tents, and increased supplies of food, water, and medications, the Israeli military announced on Monday that it had accomplished this.

“Wide-scale evacuation of Rafah” is not what the military is requesting, Lt. Col. On Monday, Shoshani informed reporters. To get people out of harm’s way, we are currently conducting a very focused operation. “.

Israel has ordered civilians to leave their homes in many areas of Gaza since the beginning of the conflict, but many of the locations it claimed would be safe for Gazans were also struck by airstrikes. Furthermore, there are no explicit indications from earlier Israeli evacuation orders regarding the timing of a ground operation in Rafah.

About two weeks prior to the start of its invasion on October, Israel started giving orders to civilians to evacuate northern Gaza and relocate south for their own safety. 27. Then, in December, just a few days before an invasion of Khan Younis in southern Gaza was planned, Israel issued an order to the locals there to relocate.

In both instances, civilians stated that following orders came with risks, leaving them to make difficult choices with frequently no safe alternatives. The weeks prior to the invasion, Northern Gaza was subjected to intense bombardment, and residents of Khan Younis reported that the evacuation orders were not properly conveyed, sometimes giving them only a few hours to flee.

UNRWA, the U. Not N. nonprofit organization that supports Palestinian refugees announced on Monday that it will not be removing its employees from Rafah and will instead keep on offering relief to those who have sought safety there.

The commissioner general of the organization, Philippe Lazzarini, stated on social media that “an Israeli military offensive will lead to an additional layer of an already unbearable tragedy for the people in Gaza.”.

Reporting assistance was provided by Liam Stack, Myra Noveck, and Isabel Kershner.

Analysts, however, contend that it would also appease the hardliners in the government coalition that supports Mr. Netanyahu and be a necessary step toward the ultimate triumph over Hamas that he has promised, however elusive that may turn out to be.

The most recent round of hostage negotiations seemed to have stalled over the weekend, and critics had charged that Mr. Netanyahu was behind it. The two sides were mainly stuck over Hamas’s demand that Israel commit to a permanent cease-fire as part of any deal, according to Israeli and Hamas officials, and over Mr. Netanyahu’s insistence on a Rafah invasion and willingness to commit to only a temporary pause in the seven-month war.

When some ambiguity was allowed, at least in the early going of a phased deal, the negotiators hoped to move the discussion along. However, Mr. Netanyahu made it very evident over the weekend in a number of remarks that he was not prepared to give up on Rafah or pledge to end the conflict. As a result, Israeli forces increased their attacks on the city on Monday after Hamas declared that it would accept a plan put forth by Egypt and Qatar.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an Israeli official claimed on Sunday that Hamas had become more demanding due to Mr. Netanyahu’s remarks regarding Rafah and the need to continue the war. Concurrently, a rocket attack by Hamas on Sunday from the vicinity of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt claimed the lives of four Israeli soldiers, demonstrating the organization’s continued ability to launch devastating assaults from its final stronghold.

Mr. Netanyahu’s office responded to the accusations by calling them “an absolute lie and willful deception of the public” in a statement released on Monday. The statement claimed that he, not Hamas, had ruined the agreement. “.

Conversely, the statement claimed that Hamas had not “shifted one millimeter from its extreme demands, which no Israeli government could accept.”. “.

Israeli analysts credited the military’s actions in Rafah with pressuring Hamas into seeking a deal by Monday evening, when Hamas announced that there was a truce plan it could accept.

It’s also up for debate what it means to enter Rafah, however. The Israeli military portrayed Monday’s call for a “temporary” evacuation of eastern Rafah as “limited in scope,” suggesting that it is not a precursor to an imminent invasion of the whole city.

That made many wonder if Israel would be able to destroy the final four Hamas battalions that it claims are in Rafah and need to be routed.

After seven months of war, Mr. Netanyahu is “out of options,” according to Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul-general in New York. “.

According to Mr. Pinkas, “Hamas will not raise a white flag.”. However, he continued, Mr. Netanyahu “has turned Rafah into some kind of Stalingrad.”. “.

Adam Rasgon assisted with reporting.

The Israeli military made it apparent that it planned to launch the much-awaited invasion of the densely populated city when it issued orders for residents to leave certain parts of Rafah the next morning. According to the Israeli military, it was conducting “targeted strikes” on “terror targets in eastern Rafah” on Monday evening. “.

A few hours later, Hamas abruptly declared that its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, had agreed to a cease-fire proposal that was based on a scheme put forth by Qatar and Egypt, who are mediating the talks with Israel. The terms Hamas had agreed to were not immediately clear, but a senior Israeli official quickly said that the terms were not those that Israel had agreed to.

The proposal that Hamas had accepted was under review, according to Israel and the US, its principal ally. However, public declarations from both sides of the conflict indicate that they are still far apart on the issues that are necessary to negotiate a truce. A look at those variations is provided here.

A long-term cease-fire is what Hamas desires. Israel desires a brief ceasefire.

The two sides are stuck on a fundamental question: will this cease-fire be a temporary pause to allow an exchange of hostages for prisoners or a long-term end to the fighting that would leave Hamas in power?

Israel demands a short-term cease-fire, claiming that it will continue to fight in order to eventually overthrow Hamas’s government in Gaza. In addition to demanding an ongoing cease-fire, Hamas promises to hold onto power.

The parties reached an agreement in November for a seven-day ceasefire, during which 240 Palestinian prisoners in Israel were exchanged for 105 hostages. However, Hamas has demanded that Israel promise to end the conflict before releasing any more hostages. (There are about 100 hostages believed to still be alive, and Hamas is also holding the remains of another 30 or so who have died, using their return for burial as another bargaining chip. ( ).

Three stages of a cease-fire have been proposed by mediators as a solution to this issue. Up to 33 of the remaining hostages would be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners during the first phase. According to officials with knowledge of the talks, more prisoners would be freed in the second phase, when Israel would also pledge to put an end to the fighting gradually.

But Israeli leaders have also vowed to conduct a major military operation in Rafah against Hamas’s forces they believe to be fortified there. Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly said Israel will invade Rafah with or without a cease-fire deal.

Israel claims it has to keep control of Gaza’s security while Hamas demands the withdrawal of all Israeli forces.

During wars with Hamas in 2014 and 2009, Israel withdrew its forces from Gaza; however, Israeli officials claim that things are more complicated this time.

While under attack on October, spearheaded by Hamas. 7, Palestinian gunmen overwhelmed communities and military bases near Gaza, killing an estimated 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials.

Retaining the Israeli military’s freedom of movement in Gaza is part of the Israeli leaders’ commitment to do whatever it takes to ensure that such an attack never occurs again.

Additionally, and in response to international outcry, Israeli forces destroyed a large number of buildings inside Gaza’s border area in order to establish a buffer zone with Israel.

A long-term Israeli military presence in the Palestinian enclave, including a buffer zone, has been publicly rejected by Hamas, at least. In March, a senior Hamas official, Ghazi Hamad, said the group was willing to accept a phased Israeli retreat as part of a prospective cease-fire deal, as long as Israel committed to ultimately withdrawing entirely from the Gaza Strip.

Mr. Netanyahu’s political calculations complicate his government’s ability to reach an agreement.

Hey, Mr. Netanyahu has stated time and time again that he is dedicated to freeing the hostages detained in Gaza, but his political survival depends on far-right supporters in his ruling coalition who reject the current proposed agreement.

Two of those allies — the finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, and the national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir — have denounced the proposed agreement, saying it amounts to a Hamas victory. Israeli forces should launch a ground operation in Rafah right away, they have demanded.

Mr. In the 120-seat Israeli parliament, Netanyahu’s coalition holds 64 seats, so any defections could jeopardize his position as prime minister and trigger fresh elections.

The head of the parliamentary opposition in Israel, Yair Lapid, has declared that he would support Mr. Netanyahu if a deal is passed that returns hostages to Israel. However, Mr. Netanyahu would then be entirely dependent on some of the opposition’s fiercest critics, which would make for a shaky political alliance.

29-year-old Nidal Kuhail, a Gaza City native who has been seeking refuge in Rafah with his family, said, “If we have to leave, we will be entering the unknown.”. “Will we be able to find a place to set up the tent? Will we have somewhere to go?”.

His tent is in a part of Rafah that is not covered by the evacuation order, but his family was still overcome with anxiety and divided over what to do next.

Before the conflict, Mr. Kuhail managed a Thai restaurant in Gaza City. “Some are saying, ‘Let’s get out of here early,’ and others are saying, ‘Let’s wait a bit,” Kuhail said.

UNRWA field personnel, the U. N. a group that aids Palestinian refugees, estimated on Monday that about 200 individuals per hour were leaving the evacuation area via the main exits, according to Sam Rose, the director of planning for the organization, who has been in Gaza for the last two weeks.

When news of developments in the cease-fire negotiations surfaced over the weekend, Rafah saw optimism, according to Mr. Rose. But that optimism was transformed into ubiquitous fear and anxiety after Israel issued its evacuation order for the eastern parts of the city, indicating that it may move ahead with a planned ground invasion as it tries to dismantle Hamas in Gaza.

In Rafah, many people claimed they knew they had to leave but were unsure of how to go about it.

Mousa Ramadan al-Bahabsa, 55, was taking refuge in a tent he set up at a U.S. N. School in Rafah, close to al-Najma sq\.. They have moved three times since the start of the war in October, he said.

After the evacuation order was issued, he said, people living at the school just looked at one another in shock. After that, a lot of people started packing. Unfortunately, he lacked the funds to depart.

“Everyone around me is fleeing,” declared Mr. al-Bahabsa, who claimed to be broke as a result of the conflict. “I have no idea who to call or where to go for assistance. “.

Leaving Rafah is expensive, Palestinians interviewed there said on Monday. Even though the Israeli military is telling people to move to an area that is less than 10 miles away, taking a taxi out of town would cost more than $260, and leaving on a smaller auto rickshaw would cost half that. A donkey-drawn cart would cost around $13, but even that is too expensive for many people.

Palestinians in Rafah claimed that the order also caused prices to soar. According to them, basic groceries like sugar went from $3 to $10 per kilogram, and the price of fuel increased from $8 to $12 per liter.

Mr. Dot al-Bahabsa declared, “I do not even have 1 shekel,” alluding to the money used in Gaza and Israel. “I don’t want to lose any of my children, but I already lost my house.”. ”.

Meanwhile, across town, Malak Barbakh, 38, was attempting to gather her eight children while her spouse was packing their possessions. But she claimed her older son had left Rafah after finding refuge there for so long and had run off somewhere.

The unknown is what worries me the most, Ms. Barbakh stated. “I’m so tired of this awful life. “.

She stated that the family, although aware that it is no longer there, intended to go back to their home in Khan Younis to ease the situation.

She remarked, “Hopefully, we can erect our tent over the debris of our home.”.

Mahmoud Mohammed al-Burdeiny, 26, was shocked to receive the order to evacuate. He declared his belief that Israel had been merely bluffing Hamas in cease-fire negotiations by threatening to invade Rafah.

Accordingly, he had no intention of leaving his southeast Rafah home. However, he now sensed that there was actual danger, and he had been observing his neighbors leave all morning.

Former taxi driver Mr. al-Burdeiny said, “I saw the long road by the beach full of trucks, vans, and cars.”. He claimed that he felt “infected with the disease of leaving, like the others” after seeing the scene. “.

In light of this, Mr. Dot al-Burdeiny and his spouse started packing their belongings and making backup plans. It dawned on them that they could carry the doors of their home with them, serving as a cover. Additionally, they could disassemble their furniture to make firewood.

Alternatively, Mr. al-Burdeiny was afraid, everything would be taken in a raid or buried under the wreckage.

“I don’t want what happened to the people in the north and in Gaza City to happen in Rafah again,” he declared. “My entire family worries me so much. “.

Mr. Netanyahu, however, has persisted in his defiance.

He gave a speech on Sunday in honor of National Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. The October of Hamas. The reason the July 7 attack was not a “Holocaust,” he claimed, was not that Hamas intended to destroy Israel, but rather that it was unable to do so. Over 200 people were kidnapped and about 1,200 people were killed that day, according to Israeli authorities. Mr. Netanyahu claimed that Hamas had the same goals as the Nazis.

During his roughly fifteen-minute speech, most of which was delivered in Hebrew, Mr. Netanyahu refuted claims that Israel was carrying out genocide in the Gaza Strip. Although the figures do not distinguish between combatants and civilians, Gazan authorities claim that Israeli troops have killed over 34,000 people since the start of the conflict, many of them were women and children.

Mr. In an effort to prevent a humanitarian crisis, Netanyahu stated that Israel’s military goes above and beyond to protect civilians, and it has permitted aid to reach Gaza. Parts of Gaza are reportedly going through a “full-blown famine,” according to a UN official. “.

Alright, Mr. Netanyahu made it a point to address the world community with a few remarks in English. He cited the Holocaust to defend Israel’s right to self-defense, whether or not outside assistance is provided.

He declared, “Israel will stand alone if it is forced to stand alone.”. But because so many good people all across the world are supporting our just cause, we know we are not alone. And I tell you, we will triumph over our enemies who commit genocide. The time to never again is now.

Following his speech, the Israeli military asked tens of thousands of Gazans to leave the city on Monday morning, sending the strongest indication yet that it was going to invade Rafah.

The Red Sea, which Asian cargo vessels must pass through in order to access the Suez Canal, has been the target of Houthi attacks since late last year. Ocean carriers now have to travel a considerably longer route around the southern tip of Africa to reach Europe instead of using the sea. In the Indian Ocean, however, the Houthis have been attempting to attack ships that are traveling that greater distance in recent weeks.

Shipping firms have had to increase their fleet size in order to guarantee that they can deliver cargo on schedule and without reducing volume because it takes longer to travel around Africa.

The challenges have been exacerbated by the threat to vessels in the Indian Ocean. For the time being, Maersk stated, “this has forced our vessels to lengthen their journey, resulting in additional time and costs to get your cargo to its destination.”.

In the three months leading up to the end of June, the company projected that adding more ships and equipment to the Asia-to-Europe route would cause the industry’s capacity to decline by 15–20 percent.

That said, shipping companies have plenty of capacity available because they have ordered many new ships in recent years.

Maersk stated on Monday that due to increased costs incurred by the shipping line, which include a 40% increase in fuel use per journey, customers should anticipate higher surcharges on shipping invoices.

According to Freightos, an online shipping marketplace, the price of shipping a container from Asia to a port in northern Europe was $3,550 last week. This is significantly less than the rates that rose above $14,000 when international shipping became congested during the coronavirus pandemic, and it is down from a recent high of $5,492 in January.

Iran-backed Houthis claim that their attacks are retaliation for Israel’s Gaza war.

The more than a million people who are seeking safety in Rafah shouldn’t be subjected to operations that increase their risk, according to President John F. Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

Mr. According to Kirby, US was probing Israel’s intentions, and Mr. Biden had questioned Mr. Netanyahu about the strategies for ensuring the safety of the people in Rafah.

Mr. Dot Kirby remarked, “Yes, without a doubt. Are we interested in the timing, the mission, and their destination? And during today’s call, the president indicated that we were curious about that. “.

Hamas declared shortly after the call that it had agreed to a deal put forth by Egypt and Qatar. But even as negotiations continued, Israel announced that it had conducted targeted strikes against Hamas in Rafah, and its war cabinet voted unanimously to move forward with the ground offensive there.

Alright, Mr. Before Israel launches its attack on Rafah, Biden has been pushing for a cease-fire agreement. He and his advisors believe that this operation could sabotage any immediate prospects for peace. However, Mr. Netanyahu has consistently disregarded Mr. Biden’s cautions, and in a speech on Sunday, he reaffirmed his commitment to defend Israel from its “genocidal enemies.”. “.

Additionally on Monday, Mr. Biden had a meeting at the White House with King Abdullah II of Jordan, a significant Middle East ally who has been a vocal proponent of the international community’s efforts to bring about a cease-fire in Gaza. White House representatives characterized the gathering as a private one as opposed to a formal state visit.

The two leaders shared the same opinion when they met earlier this year: they opposed the Rafah invasion. Israel should not launch a significant ground operation in Rafah without a “credible plan,” Mr. Biden stated during a joint press conference in February. Invoking an immediate cease-fire, King Abdullah declared that an Israeli invasion of Rafah was “certain to produce another humanitarian catastrophe.”.

As Mr. Netanyahu vowed to carry out the invasion in order to defeat Hamas, which killed over 1,200 people and captured over 200 hostages in its Oct. attack, the Israeli military started alerting more than 100,000 residents of eastern Rafah to evacuate on Monday. 7 assault against the State of Israel.

The Israeli bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza have killed over 34,000 people since the start of the war, many of them women and children, according to Gazan authorities; however, the figures do not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

On Sunday, Queen Rania, the spouse of King Abdullah, spoke of the “outrage” that Washington’s backing of Israel’s war in Gaza has caused in Jordan, a country where a large portion of the population is of Palestinian ethnicity, as well as the frustration that this has caused throughout the Arab world.

In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Queen Rania stated that Jordan believed Washington was sending “mixed messages” about the boundaries of international and humanitarian law and that the US was a “enabler” of Israel’s military tactics.

Thus, you know, the next time a nation disobeys the law, and the U. s. comes and tries to impose moral authority, those nations will respond by saying, “Well, you made an exception here,” the speaker stated. Then, why should we apply?

Mr. Dot Kirby responded to the criticism by stating that “two things can be true at the same time.”. “.

He declared, “We will continue to provide for their security to help them with that. Israel has a right and a responsibility to defend itself.”. However, they also have a duty to take precautions to prevent civilian casualties and to provide greater humanitarian aid, which is why we are exerting so much effort to settle this hostage situation. “.

Joel Simon, the director of the Journalism Protection Initiative at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, noted that using national security as a justification for prohibiting a news organization from operating in a nation is “incredibly vague” and “way outside the bounds of democratic norms.”.

Repressive governments have historically been characterized by their closure of their nation to news, ideas, and information from outside, according to Jameel Jaffer, executive director of Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute.

According to Mr. Jaffer, “unrestricted access to foreign media by its citizens is essential to the legitimacy of any democracy.”.

Certain proponents of free speech conceded that the US appears to be retreating from its position as a leader in the field of information freedom. Washington is attempting to outlaw the well-known social media app TikTok, which has a Chinese parent company, unless it is acquired by US investors.

However, they claimed that Israel is an unique situation. As a professor at the University of Chicago Law School who specializes in free speech, Genevieve Lakier said that the Israeli government’s decision to shut down Al Jazeera is just the most recent action in “a broad attack on press and speech freedom.”. Her words were, “Inconsistent with a commitment to democratic values” regarding Israel’s actions. “.

Israel’s action “sets an extremely alarming precedent for restricting international media outlets working in Israel,” according to a statement from Carlos Martinez de la Serna, program director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. In particular during times of war, he urged the Israeli government to change its mind and “allow Al Jazeera and all international media outlets to operate freely in Israel.”. “.

However, there are worries that Israel might turn around. The Freedom of the Press Foundation’s director of advocacy, Seth Stern, questioned, “Is Al Jazeera a test case?”. Will the Israeli government begin targeting other news organizations that it does not like?

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