Skip to content

Blinken Asked Whether Netanyahu Vow To Invade Rafah Undermines Hamas Incentive To Sign Truce

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spent his day in Israel yesterday repeating himself, in his meetings with various Israeli officials and in public statements, that Hamas had better accept the Israeli truce offer, or else. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told Blinken that he intended to launch an assault on Rafah, whether or not there was a truce agreement with Hamas. During a press conference in Ashdod, Netanyahu’s statement caused two reporters to ask Blinken whether it undermined Hamas’s incentive to sign on to any agreement with Israel.

He answered: “So what we’re focused on ... is getting this agreement—ceasefire, hostage release—and then something to build on. And that’s what we talked about today in our meetings, and that’s the immediate focus. And there is an agreement that if we’re able to get the deal, get the ceasefire, get the hostages out, we’re—we’ll look for ways to build on that and have something that’s sustainable over time.”

“On Rafah itself, look, our position is clear,” Blinken continued. “It hasn’t changed; it won’t change. We cannot, will not support a major military operation in Rafah absent an effective plan to make sure that civilians are not harmed. And no, we have not seen such a plan.”

This post is for paying subscribers only


Already have an account? Sign In