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Top Netanyahu aide vows Israel will capture Rafah with or without international support

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer (Photo: Screenshot)

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, a close aide of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Thursday that Israel would capture the southernmost Gazan city of Rafah, even if the entire world opposes it, including the Biden administration.

“It will happen even if Israel is forced to fight alone. Even if the entire world turns on Israel, including the United States, we’re going to fight until the battle’s won,” Dermer said during a podcast interview with the program, “Call Me Back" with Dan Senor.

Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials have repeatedly stressed that capturing Rafah is a key component in defeating the terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza. Four out of Hamas’ remaining six battalions are currently concentrated in Rafah, which is strategically located close to the Egyptian border. Hamas fighters in Rafah constituted roughly 25% of the group's total forces on Oct. 7, when terrorists invaded Israel and massacred 1,200 Israeli men, women and children.

While Washington and other Western allies support Israel’s right to self-defense against the unprecedented Hamas invasion and brutal attack, many governments, including the Biden administration have increasingly expressed concerns about the growing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

U.S. President Joe Biden recently told Netanyahu that Washington opposes an IDF military operation in Rafah without a proper plan in place to protect the more than one million Gazan civilians who are concentrated in the area. Instead, the U.S. has proposed that Israel focus on 'surgical' commando raids instead of a full-scale military operation in Rafah.

“A major ground operation there would be a mistake. It would lead to more innocent civilian deaths, worsen the already dire humanitarian crisis, deepen the anarchy in Gaza and further isolate Israel internationally,” U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan claimed.

The Israeli military has reportedly developed plans for both defeating Hamas in Rafah on the battlefield and evacuating Gaza's civilians from the war zone.

U.S.-born Dermer stressed that Israel is confident it can achieve its objectives while admitting that Washington has less confidence in Israel’s ability to protect civilians in Rafah.

“We’re quite confident that we can do this in a way that would be effective – not only militarily, but also on the humanitarian side. And they have less confidence that we can do it,” Dermer said.

The Israeli government is expected to soon dispatch Dermer and Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi to Washington for meetings with senior Biden administration officials on the Rafah issue.

While the U.S. and European powers oppose a major Israeli military operation in Rafah, they have so far failed to present a viable alternative that would lead to the defeat of Hamas’ remaining forces in the Gaza Strip.

Dermer repeated Netanyahu’s pledge that Israel would not permit 25% of Hamas forces to survive and remain in Rafah as it would continue to pose a threat to Israel’s national security.

“We’re not going to leave a quarter of them in place,” Dermer vowed. “We’re going into Rafah because we have to… And I think what people don’t understand is that October 7 is an existential moment for Israel,” the top Netanyahu aide emphasized.

In January, top Hamas terrorist Khaled Mashaal claimed that the Oct.7 attack on Israel's southern border communities revived the Iranian-backed Islamist organization’s stated goal of eventually wiping Israel off the map.

In addition, senior Hamas officials have openly threatened to repeat Oct. 7-type massacres against Israel again and again.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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