Shin Bet, IDF chief assure Egyptians of advance warning on Rafah offensive

Meeting in Cairo comes as relations between Israel and Egypt are strained, possibly risking peace agreement; They tell senior officials there that Hamas cannot be defeated without operation in Strip's most southern city
Yossi Yehushua|
Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi visited Cairo last week to assure officials there that they would not be caught by surprise by any Israeli action in Rafah, American officials said on Monday.
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The two men told the Egyptians that the war against Hamas cannot be completed without dealing with the Gaza Strip's most southern city which is on the Egyptian border. Their visit came after threats that the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement could be harmed or even suspended.
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חמ"ל המצבעים המיוחד של השב"כ שממנו נוהל מבצע החילוץ של החטופים פרננדו סימון מרמן ולואיס הר
חמ"ל המצבעים המיוחד של השב"כ שממנו נוהל מבצע החילוץ של החטופים פרננדו סימון מרמן ולואיס הר
Shin Bet Chief Ronen Bar with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi
(Photo: Shin Bet)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in interviews on the American television Sunday shows that he was already presented with the military plans of attack and that he would convene the cabinet to approve them, including the plans to relocate civilians out of the city, so as to avoid harm to them and further tensions with Egypt.
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מחנות עקורים ברפיח
מחנות עקורים ברפיח
Displaced Gazans seek shelter in Rafah
Israel and the Egyptians must also coordinate the construction of an underground barrier along the Rafah border to prevent future smuggling of weapons to Hamas.
An Egyptian official warned recently against the continued war during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan which begins next month. He said fighting in Rafah during the holiday would not only impact Israel but the entire region which is on already on the cusp of the eruption of violence.
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