USA’s Efforts to Prevent Israel’s Ground Offensive in Rafah: Latest Updates on the Israel-Gaza War

2024-03-20 06:35:00

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    The USA considers a ground offensive in Rafah to be wrong – but Israel’s prime minister cannot be dissuaded from his plan. The news ticker on the Israel-Gaza war.

    • Krieg im Gaza Strip: USA wants to prevent Israel’s ground offensive in Rafah
    • Israel’s army: More than 40 Hamas terrorists killed in Shifa operation
    • The information processed here regarding the war in Israel and the struggle of Israel once morest Hamas in the Gaza Strip come from local and international media and news agencies. Much of the information cannot be independently verified.

    Update from March 20th, 7:30 a.m.: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to resist pressure from the USA and is sticking to a ground offensive in the city of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, which is currently overcrowded with refugees. In his phone call with US President Joe Biden, he “made it clear to him” that Israel was determined to destroy the last battalions of the Islamist Hamas in Rafah. “There is no other way but to go in on the ground,” Netanyahu told the Israeli parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday, the Times of Israel reported.

    Hamas accuses Israel of “sabotage” in ceasefire negotiations

    Palestinians assess the massive damage caused by an Israeli airstrike on the Al-Masri Tower in Rafah. © Mohammed Talatene/dpa

    According to its own statements, the Israeli army has already killed “more than 50 terrorists” in the operation at the hospital that began on Monday morning. In addition, around 180 suspects were arrested, the army said.

    Negotiations have been going on in Qatar for several weeks regarding a possible ceasefire and the release of several hostages that Hamas kidnapped from Israel on October 7, 2023. Hamas made a proposal last week to exchange 42 hostages for 20 to 50 Palestinian prisoners each. The exchange should be accompanied by a six-week ceasefire.

    Israel’s intelligence chief has returned from negotiations for the time being

    Update from March 19th, 5:25 p.m.: After negotiations in Qatar regarding a new ceasefire in the Gaza war and the release of more hostages, the head of the Israeli foreign secret service Mossad, David Barnea, has returned to his homeland for the time being, according to Israeli media reports. The army radio reported on Tuesday that Barnea’s delegation remained in Doha. These also included members of the domestic intelligence service Shin Bet and the Israeli army.

    Delegation circles said that they would “work around the clock”. They expect tough and complicated negotiations, but they won’t give up. The discussions are expected to last one to two weeks. In addition to Qatar, Egypt and the USA are also involved in the mediation efforts.

    Hamas circles in the Lebanese capital Beirut said on Tuesday: “We must be clear that Hamas cannot continue to negotiate as long as the Palestinian people are under attack – like yesterday when the Israelis attacked the Shifa hospital “There are indications that the Islamist organization will withdraw from the negotiations if these circumstances persist. There was initially no official information from Hamas regarding this.

    Palestinian Foreign Ministry: Israel has already begun its ground offensive on Rafah

    Update from March 19, 11:10 a.m.: According to the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, Israel has already begun the ground offensive on the city of Rafah – without announcing it in advance. They want to avoid “international reactions” like the portal Algeria communicates.

    In a statement, the ministry condemned the “escalating bombardment and systematic destruction by Israeli forces in Rafah” and said that with these attacks Israel is deliberately ignoring international warnings regarding the threat of invasion of the city.

    The information cannot be independently verified.

    Senior Hamas leader killed in Israel war

    Update from March 19th, 9:12 a.m.: According to the US government, the number three leader of the militant Palestinian organization Hamas, Marwan Issa, was killed in an Israeli military operation. Issa was killed last week, said National Security Advisor in the White House Jake Sullivan on Monday (March 18, local time) in Washington. US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously spoken by telephone for the first time in around a month.

    Israeli soldiers 2006, history of the war in IsraelView photo series

    Israel has “dismantled a significant number of Hamas battalions” and killed thousands of the Islamist organization’s fighters, including high-ranking commanders, Sullivan said. The remaining Hamas leadership “is hiding, probably deep in the Hamas tunnel network, and justice will come for them too.”

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    US military strikes in Yemen

    Update from March 19, 6:10 a.m.: The US military said it destroyed seven missiles and three drones in areas controlled by the Houthi militia in Yemen on Monday. The forces of the US Central Command (Centcom) acted in “self-defense” when they attacked and destroyed the seven anti-ship missiles, three drones and three weapons storage containers in areas controlled by the militia, Centcom said on the online service X, formerly Twitter . The drones and missile systems posed an “imminent threat” to merchant ships and US naval vessels.

    The Iran-backed Houthi militia has been attacking ships in the Red Sea since November in order to show solidarity with the Palestinians in the war between Israel and the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Houthis see themselves as part of the “Axis of Resistance” directed once morest Israel and supported by Iran, which includes Hamas and the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

    USA wants to prevent a ground offensive in the war in Israel

    First report: Washington/Gaza/Doha – In the Gaza war, the USA wants to dissuade Israel from its planned ground offensive once morest the city of Rafah, which is overcrowded with refugees. US President Joe Biden asked Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call to send a team of representatives from the military, intelligence services and humanitarian aid specialists to Washington in the next few days, Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday. Netanyahu agreed to this. A major ground operation in Rafah would be “a mistake,” Sullivan said. The aim is to explain the US reservations to the Israelis and discuss possible alternatives. At the same time, Sullivan certified Israel’s progress in the fight once morest the Islamist Hamas. Israel’s army killed Hamas’ number three in Gaza, Marwan Issa, last week, he said, following days of speculation. Israel said it had tracked down Issa, but did not initially confirm his death.

    New negotiations on a ceasefire in the war in Israel

    Meanwhile, new negotiations began in Qatar on a ceasefire and the release of more hostages. Israeli television reported that the head of the Israeli foreign secret service Mossad, David Barnea, met with mediators in the emirate. It is assumed that the talks might last at least two weeks. Hamas recently presented a new proposal to mediators Qatar, Egypt and the USA. In it, Hamas no longer demands that Israel end the war before the first hostages are exchanged for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. However, according to the media, Israel is pessimistic and continues to speak of unrealistic demands from the terrorist organization. Hamas has set a number of different conditions in the new proposal, Sullivan said. Some people went too far in Israel. Nevertheless, an agreement is possible in the negotiations, said Sullivan.

    More than 40 terrorists killed in Shifa operation in Israel war

    More than 20 terrorists were killed in the overnight operation in the hospital area, including Faik al-Mabhouh, head of a Hamas internal security department, Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Monday evening. More than 20 others were eliminated in the area. Over 200 terror suspects have been arrested. The information might not initially be independently verified. There was initially no confirmation from Hamas of Al-Mabhouh’s death. The terrorist organization continues to fight from hospitals and civilian facilities and uses civilians and patients as human shields, the army spokesman said. They tried to rebuild their base in the Shifa hospital, the largest in Gaza, and use it as a refuge. “We will not allow this and will strike wherever Hamas tries to regain control,” he said. (Red. mit Agenturmaterial)

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