Netanyahu: Israeli forces will move to Lebanon border as Rafah winds down – Newstrends
Connect with us

International

Netanyahu: Israeli forces will move to Lebanon border as Rafah winds down

Published

on

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu: Israeli forces will move to Lebanon border as Rafah winds down

Israel’s prime minister has said the “intense phase” of fighting Hamas in Gaza is nearly over, allowing forces to move to the northern border with Lebanon to confront its ally Hezbollah.

In his first Israeli media interview since the start of the war in October, Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected the ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah to be completed soon.

But he stressed that “doesn’t mean the war is about to end”, with action continuing until Hamas was completely driven from power.

Addressing the escalating hostilities with Hezbollah, which have raised fears of a wider regional war, he said: ″We can fight on several fronts and we are prepared to do that.”

Hezbollah has been launching missiles, rockets and drones into northern Israel in support of Hamas since the day after the 7 October attacks in southern Israel, when gunmen from Gaza killed about 1,200 people and took 251 others as hostages.

More than 37,620 people have been killed in Gaza during the military campaign that Israel launched in response, according to the Palestinian territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.

Mr Netanyahu suggested in his interview with Israeli Channel 14 TV on Sunday that the seven-week Israeli operation in Rafah – which has displaced more than a million Palestinians – would be the last major offensive of the war.

“The intense phase of the fighting against Hamas is about to end,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that the war is about to end, but the war in its intense phase is about to end in Rafah.”

Israeli forces would “continue mowing the grass all the time”, he added. “We will not give up.”

READ ALSO:

Mr Netanyahu also said he was ready for a “partial deal” that would secure the release of the remaining 116 hostages still in captivity – 41 of whom are presumed dead – but that he was committed to completing “the goal of destroying Hamas”.

Hamas, which is demanding a permanent ceasefire and full Israeli withdrawal as part of any deal, said the comment showed the prime minister’s “clear rejection” of the proposal outlined last month by US President Joe Biden and backed by the UN Security Council.

The first phase of the plan – which Mr Biden said had been put forward by Israel – would last six weeks and include a temporary ceasefire that would see the release of some of the hostages. The second phase would see all the other living hostages freed during a “permanent cessation of hostilities”, with the latter subject to further negotiations.

In a speech at Israel’s parliament on Monday, Mr Netanyahu said his “position has not changed” and that he remained “committed to the Israeli proposal welcomed by President Biden”.

Later, the Hostages and Missing Families Forum released graphic video footage, filmed by Hamas gunmen, showing the abduction on 7 October of three of the remaining hostages – Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, Or Levy, 33, and Eliya Cohen, 26.

“We must approve and implement an agreement that will bring all hostages home – the living for rehabilitation and the murdered for proper burial!” the forum said.

Hamas also condemned the reported killing on Sunday of eight people in an Israeli air strike on a vocational college in Gaza City run by the UN Palestinian refugee agency, Unrwa, which was being used as an aid distribution point. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said buildings were being used for military purposes by Hamas, which the group rejected as a “lie”.

The IDF announced on Monday that it had killed a Hamas commander responsible for projects and development at the group’s weapons manufacturing headquarters in an overnight air strike, without giving a location.

It also said troops were continuing to carry out raids in the Rafah area, and that they had located weapons, dismantled several underground tunnel shafts and eliminated “a number of armed terrorists”.

According to the IDF, chief of staff Lt Gen Herzi Halevi told troops in Rafah: “We are clearly approaching the point where we can say we have dismantled the Rafah Brigade, that it is defeated not in the sense that there are no more terrorists, but in the sense that it can no longer function as a fighting unit.”

Mr Netanyahu said that once the current phase of the Gaza war was over, Israeli forces would “face north”.

He stated that the redeployment of troops to the border with Lebanon would be “first and foremost for defensive purposes”, but that it would also allow tens of thousands of Israelis displaced by Hezbollah rocket and missile attacks to return home.

“If we can, we will do this diplomatically. If not, we will do it in another way. But we will bring all [the residents] home.”

Israel wants Hezbollah to agree to withdraw its fighters several kilometres back from the border, in line with a UN Security Council resolution passed at the end of their war in 2006. However, Hezbollah says there will be no ceasefire agreement before there is one in Gaza.

READ ALSO:

In addition to forcing tens of thousands of residents in northern Israel to flee their homes, Hezbollah’s attacks have so far killed at least 25 people in Israel. The IDF has responded with air and artillery strikes in Lebanon, which the UN says have reportedly killed more than 400 people and displaced tens of thousands.

The cross-border exchanges have been intensifying in recent weeks, along with threats from both sides.

On Monday, the IDF said fighter jets had struck a number of Hezbollah “terror targets” in southern Lebanon overnight, including a military structure in Aitaroun and infrastructure in Kfarkela and Khiam.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said there had been an air strike on a house in Aitaroun and that no casualties were reported.

The IDF also said two Israeli reservists in a local security team had been injured, one seriously, by a Hezbollah anti-tank missile attack in the Israeli border town of Metula on Sunday night.

On Sunday, the chairman of the US military’s joint chiefs of staff warned that an Israeli offensive in Lebanon could “drive up the potential for a broader conflict” that draws in Iran and other Iran-backed groups.

“Hezbollah is more capable than Hamas as far as overall capability, number rockets and the like. And I would just say I would see Iran be more inclined to provide greater support to Hezbollah,” General CQ Brown told reporters.

He also said it would be “harder” for the US to defend Israel from attacks by Hezbollah than it was during Iran’s attack on Israel in April, when almost all of the drones and missiles it launched were intercepted.

His remarks came as Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant visited Washington to discuss the next phase of the Gaza war and Hezbollah. Before leaving, Mr Gallant said Israel was “prepared for any action that may be required in Gaza, Lebanon, and in more areas”.

Last week, the IDF confirmed that operational plans for an offensive against Hezbollah had been approved and Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned that Hezbollah would be destroyed “in an all-out war”.

Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said it was not interested in a full-scale conflict, but that if one breaks out “there will be no place safe” in Israel.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said people in the region could “not afford Lebanon to become another Gaza”.

Netanyahu: Israeli forces will move to Lebanon border as Rafah winds down

BBC

International

King Salman orders change of Saudi ministry name

Published

on

King Salman

King Salman orders change of Saudi ministry name

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued an order on Sunday to change the name of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing to the Ministry of Municipalities and Housing, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi Housing Minister Majid Al-Hogail expressed his gratitude to King Salman, and stressed that the name change was a progressive step reflecting the nation’s commitment to fostering an advanced urban environment in alignment with Vision 2030 objectives.

READ ALSO:

The change aims to enhance the overall performance of the ministry and its affiliated bodies, including secretariats and municipalities, to achieve sustainable urban development plans, the SPA added.

It also seeks to empower municipalities to improve the quality of life in cities and advance the housing sector by offering innovative services to beneficiaries.

Al-Hogail highlighted that the municipalities and housing sector were crucial components of the state, directly impacting the lives of citizens.

King Salman orders change of Saudi ministry name

Continue Reading

International

US election: Biden was never fit to run, says Trump

Published

on

President Joe Biden and Donald Trump

US election: Biden was never fit to run, says Trump

Former US President, Donald Trump, has said President Joe Biden was never fit or possessed the capacity to lead the country.

Trump, the Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election, said this in reaction to the news that has shelved from his re-election bid.

Trump said all those around Biden, including his Doctor and the Media, knew that he wasn’t capable of being President.

He made this known in a statement on his Truth Social handle.

Trump said that Biden was not fit to run for President, and also certainly not fit to serve.

He added that Biden became President by lies and fake news.

READ ALSO:

He said: “Crooked Joe Biden was not fit to run for President, and is certainly not fit to serve – And never was! He only attained the position of President by lies, Fake News, and not leaving his Basement.

“All those around him, including his Doctor and the Media, knew that he wasn’t capable of being President, and he wasn’t – And now, look what he’s done to our Country, with millions of people coming across our Border, totally unchecked and unvetted, many from prisons, mental institutions, and record numbers of terrorists.

“We will suffer greatly because of his presidency, but we will remedy the damage he has done very quickly. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Within Nigeria had reported that Biden announced his withdrawal from the 2024 presidential race on Sunday.

He said it was in the interest of his party and Americans.

US election: Biden was never fit to run, says Trump

Continue Reading

International

JUST IN: Biden ‘must resign’ as president ‘immediately’ – House Speaker

Published

on

Joe Biden and Mike Johnson

JUST IN: Biden ‘must resign’ as president ‘immediately’ – House Speaker

Joe Biden must resign as president “immediately,” the top Republican in Congress said Sunday, after the US president announced he was abandoning his bid to retake the White House amid intense pressure over his age.

READ ALSO:

“If Joe Biden is not fit to run for president, he is not fit to serve as president. He must resign the office immediately. November 5 cannot arrive soon enough,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson in a statement.

AFP

Continue Reading

Trending