Report: Netanyahu Delays Long Awaited Rafah Military Operation

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to delay a long-anticipated military operation in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, reports Kan News.

No details were provided by the Hebrew news outlet as to why Israel’s premier has decided to back down. Still, Netanyahu has been facing significant political pressure as he attempts to reconcile dismantling Hamas with the intense international push for a ceasefire to secure the release of Israeli hostages. Shin Bet intelligence maintains that four Hamas brigades are still operational in Rafah, a city whose population has now swelled to over a million Arabs.

Domestically, Netanyahu’s fragile right-wing coalition is coming under threat as calls for new elections continue to grow amid frustration over his handling of the Gaza war six months into the campaign.

This follows a televised announcement on April 8, where the prime minister announced a date had been circled on the calendar for the Rafah operation.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Sunday that it has called up two additional military units to fight in Gaza.

“Approximately two brigades” of reservists will be called up for operation activities in the territory where fighting has been going on for over six months, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Sunday.

“Their calling will allow the continuous effort and readiness to defend the State of Israel and the security of civilians,” the IDF statement said.

At the onset of the war with Hamas, the IDF mobilized about 200,000 reservists, most of whom are believed to have been discharged by now following a large-scale withdrawal from the enclave early in April.

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