Gaza war may last till end of 2024, warns Israel amid Rafah offensive | World News - Hindustan Times
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Gaza war may last till end of 2024, warns Israel amid Rafah offensive

May 30, 2024 11:42 AM IST

Israel warned that the war in Gaza may last for seven more months as it intensifies its offensive in the border city of Rafah.

After sparking global outrage for its airstrikes in Rafah, Israel has warned that the war in Gaza may extend for at least seven more months.

Smoke rises following Israeli strikes during an Israeli military operation in Rafah, as seen from Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. (Reuters)
Smoke rises following Israeli strikes during an Israeli military operation in Rafah, as seen from Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. (Reuters)

An Israeli official cautioned Wednesday that the war with Hamas may last till the end of 2024 as military operations against Hamas continue, reported CNN.

Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel's national security adviser, indicated that 2024 had been designated a "year of combat" by Israel's war cabinet. "We are now in the fifth month of 2024, which means we expect another seven months of fighting to deepen our achievements and achieve our goal of destroying the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad," Hanegbi stated.

These remarks by the top Israeli official come as military tanks were seen advancing towards the Rafah despite mounting pressure on the country to halt its operations amid global outrage.

The Israeli government earlier said that entering Rafah would mark the final stage of its war with Hamas. However, the intensifying offensive in the south Gaza city has claimed dozens of civilian lives so far. After Israel's most recent airstrike in Rafah, 45 civilians including children died and over 200 were left injured.

The shelling and airstrikes led to multiple casualties in a refugee shelter in Rafah, where people were residing in outdoor tents. Footage from the Tal al-Sultan camp depicted scenes of horror, with charred bodies extracted from rubble and a man holding the headless body of a child amidst raging fires.

Despite earlier considerations for a ceasefire-for-hostages deal with Hamas, a faction of Israel's war cabinet advocated for proceeding with the Rafah offensive, prioritizing the destruction of the group over the return of hostages believed to be in Gaza.

Israel commenced its series of attacks in Gaza after Hamas' unprecedented attack on October 7, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties and the abduction of around 250 individuals. Israel said that around 125 people are still being held hostage by Hamas, most likely in Gaza.

In response, Israel launched a devastating offensive in Gaza, claiming the lives of over 36,000 people, according to Palestinian officials.

(With inputs from ANI)

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