Netanyahu approves plans for Rafah operation

PM office says the IDF is preparing for the invasion and population evacuation in Rafah; adds that Hamas hostage deal demands remain unacceptable

The Prime Minister's Office announced on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the IDF's plans for an operation in Rafah.
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The statement, released amid heightened tensions in the War Cabinet, emphasized that the IDF is preparing for the invasion and population evacuation.
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בנימין נתניהו, אוהלים ברפיח
בנימין נתניהו, אוהלים ברפיח
Rafah, Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Reuters/Miriam Alster)
Meanwhile, in response to Hamas' mediation proposals regarding a potential hostage exchange, Netanyahu's office stated that "Hamas demands remain unacceptable." An Israeli delegation will depart for Doha after the War Cabinet discusses Israel's stance.
"Hamas is sticking to unreasonable demands, leaving little room for progress," a senior official said. "The War Cabinet will soon deliberate on Israel's detailed position, deciding whether to authorize the negotiating team's departure to Doha. Security officials reported to the cabinet regarding the growing evidence of Marwan Issa's elimination. Prime Minister Netanyahu commended this and called it a significant Israeli achievement."
Hamas submitted a three-stage ceasefire proposal on Friday, that includes facilitating aid deliveries and returning displaced Palestinians to their homes, as reported by Al Jazeera.
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נתניהו וסינוואר
נתניהו וסינוואר
Benjamin Netanyahu, Yahya Sinwar
(צילום: דנה קופל, רויטרס)
Each of the three stages would last 42 days. In the first stage, Israeli forces would withdraw beyond Salah al-Din Street near Gaza City in central Gaza to enable some of the displaced people to return home. Hamas would release a female Israeli reservist held captive in Gaza for every 50 Palestinian prisoners.
The second stage would consist of a permanent ceasefire to be announced before Hamas releases any captive IDF soldiers. In the final stage, the terror group proposed the end of Israel’s siege on Gaza and the beginning of reconstruction efforts.
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