Hamas official says Israeli attack on Rafah will blow up hostage negotiations
The terrorist organization claims the IDF expanding its operation into the southernmost area of Gaza was 'Netanyahu trying to escape' the deal
A senior official in Hamas told the terror group's Al-Aqsa TV channel that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) expanding its operations, into the southernmost Gaza governate of Rafah, would "blow up" negotiations on a deal for a ceasefire and hostage release.
The threat followed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordering the IDF to begin planning an evacuation and strategy plan for Rafah, reiterating the importance of such an operation in an interview with ABC on Saturday night.
"Netanyahu is trying to escape from fulfilling the deal by mass slaughter and a new humanitarian disaster in Rafah. A military attack on Rafah means a cessation of the negotiations on a deal," the Hamas official was quoted as saying by the Israeli KAN News.
The Israeli prime minister insisted that the IDF operation will expand to Rafah, in order to reach the last Hamas battalions in the area, reiterating that safe passage will be provided to the civilian population to get out of harm's way.
"This is part of our war effort to get civilians out of harm's way. It's part of Hamas' effort to keep them in harm's way," Netanyahu told ABC’s This Week co-anchor Jonathan Karl.
"Those who say that under no circumstances should we enter Rafah are basically saying lose the war. Keep Hamas there," the Israeli prime minister stated.