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Once again, PM Netanhayu will attack the Palestinians under the pretext that there are four Hamas battalions operating in Rafah.
On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the army to prepare a plan for a ground operation in Rafah, the southernmost Gazan city to where over half of the 2.3 million Gaza residents fled due to the ongoing war.
He ordered the army and the security establishment to submit to the cabinet "a combined plan for evacuating the (Gaza) population and destroying the (Hamas) battalions" in Rafah, which was previously considered a safe zone from Israel's relentless bombardments.
"It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war without eliminating Hamas and by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah. It is clear that intense activities in Rafah require the evacuation of civilians," he said.
The remarks came after U.S. President Joe Biden criticized Israel's retaliatory offensive in Gaza while warning of a high death toll among Palestinian civilians if Israeli ground troops push deeper into Rafah.
On Friday, Israeli occupation forces also shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian youth in Beita, in the Nablus area, in the West Bank.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the youth as Bani Shamsa, who died from a gunshot wound to the chest during clashes in Beita triggered by the Israeli soldiers' raid on this town.
Two civilians were shot, another is in critical condition after being beaten by Israeli soldiers, and dozens of people suffered from suffocation, as reported by the Red Crescent Society.
The current spiral of violence in the West Bank is the largest since the Second Intifada (2000-2005). The situation has been escalating since October 2023, when the Zionist state began its offensive against the Gaza Strip, which has left over 28,000 dead. In the past three months, Israeli occupation forces have killed at least 388 Palestinians in the West Bank.
Israel took control of the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and has since maintained a long regime of military occupation and colonization over the territory.
#FromTheSouth News Bits | With the threat of a new Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, human rights organizations warned of the implications for the Palestinian population, which is already suffering the consequences of indiscriminate shelling and the humanitarian blockade pic.twitter.com/LsZ7EbTYAx