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Netanyahu dismisses dire warnings against entering Rafah as 'basically saying lose the war'

More than a million people are estimated to be in Rafah, a city on the Egyptian border, and Netanyahu said that Israel is working out a "detailed plan" to relocate civilians north of the city. 

Published: February 11, 2024 4:15pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed dire warnings against entering the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, saying that opponents of the potential Israeli Defense Forces operation are essentially telling Israel to "lose the war" and "keep Hamas" in power. 

More than a million people are estimated to be in Rafah, a city on the Egyptian border, and Netanyahu said that Israel is working out a "detailed plan" to relocate civilians north of the city. 

"This is part of our war effort, to get civilians out of harm's way," the Israeli prime minister told ABC News' "This Week." 

"It's part of Hamas's effort to keep them in harm's way. But we've so far succeeded, and we're going to succeed again. Those who say that under no circumstances should we enter Rafah are basically saying, lose the war. Keep Hamas there. And Hamas has promised to do the October 7th massacre over and over and over again," he said, referring to the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attacks that resulted in the deaths of about 1,200 people in Israel and the kidnappings of 240 others. 

Egypt threatened to suspend the Camp David Accords peace treaty with Israel if it sends troops into Rafah amid concerns that fighting could force Palestinians into the Sinai Peninsula and force Egypt's border crossing with Gaza to close, Egyptian officials said, according to The Associated Press

The Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia, which Israel has been attempting to establish relations with for years, warned of "very serious repercussions" that would occur if the IDF entered Rafah, per CNN.

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