IDF making final preparations for Rafah invasion, completing Gaza war

“Hamas should know that when the IDF goes into Rafah, it would be wise to raise its hands in surrender,” says senior IDF official.

By World Israel News Staff

After a number of delays, Israel is preparing for a ground invasion of Rafah, which is widely considered the last Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip.

According to a report from Hebrew-language Channel 12 News, the incursion into Rafah will mark the final stage in the ongoing Swords of Iron War.

The Biden administration is finally authorizing an Israeli operation within the city, after good-faith efforts by Israel to establish a ceasefire and hostage release deal were reportedly rejected by Hamas, according to the report.

Israel believes that Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar and at least four of the terror group’s battalions are currently hunkering down in Rafah. Numerous Israeli hostages are also likely being held in the city.

“Hamas was hit hard in the northern sector. It was also hit hard in the center of the Strip. And soon it will be hit hard in Rafah, too,” Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen, told Kan News on Tuesday.

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“Hamas should know that when the IDF goes into Rafah, it would be wise to raise its hands in surrender,” he said.

“Rafah will not be the Rafah of today… There won’t be weapons stockpiles there. And there won’t be hostages there” after the IDF incursion, he added.

The first phase of the operation will see Israel distribute additional humanitarian aid to the north of the Strip, where Rafah’s civilian population will be evacuated.

In Khan Younes and other central areas of the Strip, Israel will strengthen essential infrastructure, such as electricity, sewage and water.

The Israeli army will also work to ensure that medical services are available to those leaving Rafah and southern Gaza. The IDF will establish field hospitals, providing additional support to local medical centers.

Satellite imagery recently revealed that Egypt is setting up a massive tent city in the Sinai Desert, presumably to house refugees from Rafah who will enter Egyptian territory, rather than going to the central and northern regions of the Strip.

The United Arab Emirates is also providing support for additional tents, and Israel’s Defense Ministry has reportedly purchased some 40,000 tents to house displaced Gazans.