Netanyahu: Fierce fight in Rafah “near end”

“The serious fight against Hamas is coming to an end,” Netanyahu told Israeli broadcaster Channel 14 on Sunday.

Israel has located the last remaining Hamas battalions in the Gaza Strip in Rafah, on the border with Egypt, and has been operating against targets in the city for weeks despite international criticism. After the intensive phase ended, Netanyahu announced that “some forces could be redeployed back to the north.” This will be done “primarily” for security purposes, but also to bring back residents who have fled.

Netanyahu “open to partial deal”

Netanyahu said he would not agree to any deal to end the war in Gaza. However, he was open to a “partial deal” that would include the return of hostages from the Gaza Strip. “The goal is to bring back the abductees and uproot the Hamas regime in Gaza,” the Israeli head of government said.

US officials have expressed skepticism about Israel’s goal of completely destroying Hamas. Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari also expressed doubts on Wednesday and described Hamas as an “ideology” that “cannot be destroyed.”

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