Israeli forces attack Rafah despite potential ceasefire with Hamas

Despite a potential ceasefire deal with Hamas on the horizon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a long-feared attack on the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Monday.

The sudden invasion has dashed hopes of a peaceful resolution to the conflict, as Israeli ground troops and air units target the home to almost 1.7 million civilians trapped in the city.

Finer Details: Unconfirmed reports on the social media app Telegram indicate Rafah has sustained heavy damage to the city, as tanks and airstrikes batter civilian infrastructure from afar.

  • Eyewitnesses to the carnage claim that Israeli Defense Forces have deployed tanks and helicopter gunships in support of the assault.
  • Airstrikes, artillery bombardments, and other clashes have so far reached Rafah’s easternmost neighborhoods, forcing many Palestinians to flee to the southern border with Egypt.

Why it’s important: Before the attacks were unleashed, delegates from Hamas had accepted a ceasefire deal brokered by Egypt and Qatar.

  • Despite the diplomatic success, Israeli forces attacked anyway, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claiming he would “send negotiators to continue talks.”
  • Israel’s sudden decision to invade Rafah—a city containing up to 1.7 million Palestinian civilians—comes one day after the Western world breathlessly echoed solidarity with the Jewish people on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Conversation: The Israeli incursion into Rafah just moments before a long-awaited ceasefire has so far resulted in worldwide condemnation, with some calling the move a “genocide.”

  • “The assault on Rafah is genocide in action. Political leaders in the UK must call this for what it is, it’s a war crime. International action is needed to halt the attack. We need an urgent vote in Parliament to end the UK’s complicity in this & to end the arms sales to Israel,” said UK Labor Party politician John McDonnell on X/Twitter.
  • “The Government must publicly call for an urgent ceasefire & implore Israel to end this heart-rending attack on Rafah. A full-scale attack would be a tragedy, killing countless more innocent Palestinians, displacing families & making it harder than ever to provide lifesaving aid,” said the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on X/Twitter.
  • “This is Rafah tonight, under the heaviest Israeli bombardment yet. Israel is not defending itself, it is committing genocide,” said Independent Lebanese geopolitical commentator Sarah Abdallah on X/Twitter.

On the Ground: Sources on the ground in Rafah documented their experiences during the assault, live posting to X/Twitter, as well as Telegram.

  • “I am speaking to you from east of Rafah, from within the evacuation zones. The vehicles are starting to enter from the eastern border. The situation is very bad, and the bombing and fire belts are continuing and do not stop. Plane bombing, artillery shelling, lighting bombs, Apache helicopters supporting the vehicles, shooting, the sound of the vehicles’ movements inside the Rafah borders. Oh God, we bid you farewell ourselves.”

The Big Picture: Israel has enjoyed nearly full-spectrum support from the United States, made only possible by a strong lobbying culture in Washington DC, and elsewhere.

  • According to AIPAC-tracker, a nonprofit that shines the light on Israeli money being flowed into US politics, millions of dollars have already been invested in seeding Zionist talking points into American public discourse.
  • Israeli money has found its way into the pockets of both sides of the political spectrum, including incumbent US President Joe Biden, who has received $11,194,792 from AIPAC at the time of press.
  • So far, Palestinian deaths—many of them women and children—have officially reached 34,683 prior to the Rafah invasion. US-taxpayer-funded Israeli strikes are responsible for the carnage, which also claims an additional 78,018 wounded since the war began on October 7th.

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