The Israeli military launched a military assault on the Gaza Strip following the death of 1,200 people and abduction of at least 250 people in an incursion by Hamas militants on Oct. 7. According to Israeli tallies, the operation was carried out to protect its citizens from attacks by terrorists operating from Gaza.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s actions in an interview, stating that “enough” of the remaining Israeli hostages held in Gaza were alive to justify Israel’s war in the region. Meanwhile, Hamas-run Aqsa Television quoted a senior leader as saying that any Israeli ground offensive in Rafah would “blow up” the hostage-exchange negotiations.
Egypt warned on Sunday of “dire consequences” if Israel launches a military assault on Rafah, which lies near its border. The country called for all international and regional efforts to prevent such an attack and protect Palestinian civilians who are caught in the crossfire.