Netanyahu: Rafah Will Be Evacuated Before Offensive

    Netanyahu: Rafah Will Be Evacuated Before Offensive
    Photo: Ahmad Hasaballah/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that Israel will evacuate displaced Palestinians from Rafah, who represent more than half the population of the Gaza Strip, before Israeli forces move into the city.

    • Netanyahu, who earlier this week called a Hamas counteroffer on a hostage deal "delusional," claimed that the group still has four battalions in Rafah and Israel must eliminate them to achieve its war goals, adding that any operation would require evacuating civilians.


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Israel's war against Hamas is just, given the atrocities the group committed during its Oct. 7 attack. However, Israel must take into account the innocent civilians in Gaza who are trapped between Israel's military machine and Hamas' terrorist fighters. Israel has not yet created acceptable conditions to move into Rafah, and it must have a concrete plan to evacuate civilians from any areas in which it will operate.

    Pro-Israel narrative

    Though this has been a tragic war, Israel must eliminate Hamas once and for all to ensure Israel's security. To eliminate its capacity for terror, Israel has been forced to use blunt tools to rout Hamas forces, as they are so deeply dug into Gaza's civil infrastructure. Israel has worked hard to compromise and ensure the safety of civilians, but it will have to go into Rafah if an agreement is not reached soon.

    Pro-Palestine narrative

    Israel continues to demonstrate that its war is not against Hamas but against the Palestinian people as a whole. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is already far beyond catastrophic, as over 1M Palestinians barely survive in dense and muddy tent camps while battling famine and disease. If Israel were to push into Rafah as it did Gaza City and Khan Younis, the consequences would be absolutely dire.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 56% chance that Israel will have de facto power in the Gaza Strip on January 1, 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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