After operations against Hamas in Rafah, Israel plans to focus efforts on the extremist group Hezbollah in Lebanon

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced on Sunday (June 23, 2024) that the intense phase of combat against Hamas in the Gaza Strip may come to an end “very soon“. However, he emphasized that the war will not cease until control of the Palestinian enclave is wrested from the extremist group.

In an interview with the state channel, Netanyahu also said that, after this step in Gaza, Israel will redirect more forces to the northern border, in response to the growing clashes with Hezbollah, supported by Iran. “After the intense phase ends, we will have the possibility to move part of the forces to the north. And we will do that. Firstly, for defensive purposes. And secondly, to bring our residents [evacuados] for home”, he said. The information is from Reuters.

Netanyahu emphasized that even with efforts focused on the north, he is still not willing to end the war once and for all and showed rejection to the idea that the Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank, would take control of Gaza in place of Hamas.

With the pressure for a ceasefire in Gaza, Netanyahu also mentioned the possibility of a “partial agreement” with Hamas for the return of some hostages. However, he stressed that if we can, we will do so diplomatically. Otherwise, we will do it another way. But we will bring [os residentes] for home”.

The shift in focus to the northern border, as indicated by Netanyahu, comes at a time of growing tension with Hezbollah, which has been carrying out attacks from southern Lebanon. Israeli officials reported plans to reallocate resources from southern Gaza to northern Israel, preparing for an offensive against the group and mentioning a possible “total war“. Which raises concerns about the possibility of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

International pressure on Israel’s actions in Gaza has increased, especially after the operation in Rafah, with the UN High Court (United Nations) ordering Israel to immediately halt its military operation in the area, due to the humanitarian situation.”disastrous“.


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