April 9, 2024 | Flash Brief

‘Victory Requires Entering Rafah,’ Netanyahu Says

April 9, 2024 | Flash Brief

‘Victory Requires Entering Rafah,’ Netanyahu Says

Latest Developments

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on April 8 that Israel has selected a date for its operation against Hamas terrorists in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. In a video statement, Netanyahu said, “we are constantly working to achieve our goal.” He emphasized that Israel is primarily focused on “releasing all of our hostages and achieving total victory over Hamas,” adding that “victory requires entering Rafah and eliminating the terrorist battalions there. This will happen. There is a date.”

The decision comes after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) withdrew a division from Khan Younis in southern Gaza, as the Jewish state announced on April 7. For several months, Israel’s war cabinet has been debating a potential date for its offensive in Rafah, where Hamas maintains four battalions of terrorists. Rafah also contains large numbers of tunnels that reportedly fuel Hamas’s ability to smuggle cash and weapons from Egypt.

Expert Analysis

“It is important that Israel has decided on a date for an operation to defeat Hamas in Rafah. Rafah is one of the cities still controlled by Hamas’s terrorist battalions in Gaza. Additionally, Rafah is where Hamas units are still intact, and Hamas uses the city to hijack humanitarian aid entering Gaza. Hamas uses its control over Rafah and the border area to maintain control of Gaza, where it still holds 133 hostages. Hamas must be defeated, and the hostages must be returned to Israel.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“While capturing Rafah is a crucial step, it is important to recognize that this alone is unlikely to end the conflict. There is still high potential for undiscovered terrorist infrastructure to be used against Israeli forces, raising fears of new conflict zones emerging in the Gaza Strip.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

IDF Eliminates Two Key Hamas Terrorists

The IDF confirmed on April 9 that it had eliminated a terrorist in Gaza who participated in the October 7 massacre of Israelis. Additionally, the IDF carried out a strike in central Gaza targeting Hamas operative Hatem al-Ghamri, the head of the terrorist group’s “emergency committee” in the central Gaza Strip. The committee supports Hamas’s political control over Gaza. The IDF said al-Ghamri was responsible for rocket fire at Israel from the Maghazi area of central Gaza.

Hamas continued to fire rockets at Israel on April 8. The IDF detected several launches from Gaza targeting an area near Re’im in southern Israel, the location of the dance music festival where Hamas terrorists committed mass atrocities during their October 7 onslaught. “Shortly after, IDF fighter jets struck a launch position, military compound, and underground tunnel shafts in the area from which the launch attack was carried out,” the IDF said.

Six Months Into War, Israel Withdraws Division From Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Raid on Gaza Hospital Captures Largest Number of Terrorists Since War Began,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel on Alert for Iranian Strikes After Damascus Blast,” FDD Flash Brief


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