Israel’s ‘Slow-Motion’ Attack on Rafah Looks to Pressure Hamas to Give in Before the Real Fighting Begins

Israel’s initial assault on the Rafah border crossing has successfully given the IDF “operational control” of the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Israel is signaling that this will be the jumping-off point for the main thrust into the city.

The border operation resulted in the killing of 20 Hamas fighters, as well as the discovery of three operational tunnels. The IDF is taking its time searching for other “infrastructure” in the area. In the meantime, the crossing has been closed to all aid deliveries and all traffic. The IDF is sealing Rafah as tight as a drum and is ratcheting up pressure on Hamas to agree to a real ceasefire deal, not the bogus agreement that Hamas said it would accept just minutes before the attack on the border crossing began.

Indeed, the only people falling for this ploy are those already in bed with the terrorists. It’s actually pathetic to see,

“It was a very targeted operation, very limited in scope against a specific target. We have indications that the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing was being used by Hamas,” an Israeli official said.

Limited now, but what about 12-24 hours from now? 

New York Times:

Israeli government spokesman David Mencer told reporters later Tuesday that the war cabinet had “unanimously decided Israel will continue its operation in Rafah in order to apply military pressure to allow us to release our hostages.”

He added that a cease-fire proposal accepted by Hamas late Monday remained “far from Israel’s core demands.” But Israel had dispatched a delegation to Cairo on Tuesday to “maximize any chance of an agreement on terms acceptable to Israel,” he said.

“No amount of pressure, no decision by any international forum, will stop Israel from defending itself,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday. “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone. But we know we are not alone, because countless decent people around the world support our cause.”

The “decent people” don’t include Joe Biden and a good portion of Western Europe.

Wall Street Journal:

Early Monday morning Israel ordered the evacuation of eastern Rafah, directing civilians to safety. In the afternoon Israeli tanks advanced. The plan is to evacuate and fight in the city piece by piece, swiftly moving civilians north and west without leaving Hamas free to tie down the people as human shields.

Objections are pouring in from the usual suspects. France says displacing Rafah’s civilians is a crime. Would it prefer that Israel fight among them, or simply leave Hamas alone? Unrwa says that it will resist evacuation. The United Nations refugee agency again puts its anti-Israel ideology above the safety of Palestinian civilians.

Netanyahu is approaching the war’s endgame in Rafah cautiously. He wants total victory by destroying the five Hamas battalions in Rafah, rescuing some hostages reportedly in the city, and killing several Hamas leaders. But he doesn’t want to totally alienate his American ally by killing a lot of civilians. Thus, the “piece by piece” capture of the Hamas stronghold, moving civilians out of the way as the IDF advances.

Hamas is currently trapped in Rafah. Only Joe Biden can save it now.

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