Israel’s Netanyahu says ‘there is a date’ for Rafah invasion

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a date has been set for a ground offensive in Rafah, which Israel says is one of the last Hamas strongholds in Gaza.

Around 1.5 million Gazans are sheltering in the city, which has so far not experienced a large-scale Israeli ground assault.

Netanyahu did not say when the invasion would occur but reiterated that victory over Hamas militants “requires entry into Rafah and the elimination of the terrorist battalions there.

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“It will happen — there is a date,” he said in a video statement.

He was speaking as talks in Cairo over a Gaza ceasefire and hostage deal appeared to be gathering momentum.

Netanyahu is under pressure at home from his far-right coalition partners who are angry at talk of a truce as well as Israel pulling its troops out of southern Gaza on Sunday.

“Today I received a detailed report on the talks in Cairo,” Netanyahu said.

“We are working all the time to achieve our goals, primarily the release of all our hostages and achieving a complete victory over Hamas.”

The White House said on Monday that negotiators in the Egyptian capital had presented Hamas with a proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a hostage deal.

“Now it’s going to be up to Hamas to come through,” it said, describing the talks as “serious”.

Israeli genocide in Gaza has killed at least 33,207 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry.

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