Camps for displaced Gazans in the coastal area of ​​Al-Mawasi, northwest of Palestinian Rafah (Al-Jazeera) (Al-Jazeera)

Rafah is the last city targeted by the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, and the most densely populated city in the Gaza Strip after the displacement of about 1.4 million Palestinians to it from the northern and central Gaza Strip.

But at the same time, it represents the final test of the extent of the success or failure of the aggression in light of Netanyahu’s insistence on continuing it, amid disagreements plaguing the ruling coalition, and in the midst of a reversal in Western support for the war on Gaza, which caused the death of about 29,000 Palestinians, and the wounding of about 69,000, most of whom were children and women. !

Netanyahu tried to win the Israelis over to his policy by announcing a new slogan and demand, which is that Israel “will fight until a ‘decisive victory’ is achieved,” amid his assertion that military force is what paves the way for the release of prisoners and nothing else, aligning with the desire of the street thirsty for revenge since the events of the Al-Aqsa flood.

Escape forward

The Israeli position comes as the occupation army continues to fail to eliminate Hamas, and also to liberate prisoners by force, except for two prisoners. He said:

He succeeded in liberating them in Rafah, amid indications that they were not in the possession of the resistance, but rather in the possession of one of the families!

Therefore, this insistence does not come from a background of remarkable success in the field, and the keenness of Netanyahu and his military staff to confirm that they succeeded in eliminating an important part of the battalions fighting Hamas is belied by the videos broadcast by the resistance of ambushes, sniping, and bombings by the occupation forces in them, in addition to the battles. Al-Sharasa, which is still located in Khan Yunis to the south.

The occupation also admitted that it was going to Rafah to eliminate 4 Hamas brigades that did not participate in the battle, and whose capabilities have not been affected so far.

Two former prime ministers, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, stressed in previous statements the impossibility of achieving victory at the current stage, and called for the completion of an exchange deal that would allow the entity in the future to resume the war on Hamas. A number of security services leaders, thinkers, and writers also stressed the failure of the occupation to achieve the mission of eliminating Hamas, and the necessity of moving to a prisoner exchange deal, without this receiving a response from Netanyahu, who insisted on continuing the war even if this led to sacrificing prisoners.

In recent testimonies of the failure of the occupation in its mission, Major General Yitzhak Brik, reserve, confirmed to Channel 12 on Hebrew television that “the war cannot be won. We must face the truth, tell it, and stop telling the stories of us, us, and us (..) In my opinion, it is very difficult today.” Undermining Hamas, the easiest thing is to recover the kidnapped people.”

As for the former head of the Mossad, Tamir Pardo, the official Israeli channel Kan 11 quoted him as saying, “There is no longer a choice for Israel but to accept a prisoner exchange deal, the terms of which and the date for the release of the prisoners will be determined by Sinwar,” adding, “If we end the war with 136 Ron Arad” (referring to To the name of a co-pilot who has been missing for 36 years in Lebanon) or 136 coffins, Israel will, for the first time since its establishment, lose the war.”

CNN also quoted the Chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee as saying that Israel had little success in clearing and securing the Gaza tunnels, which are more than 500 km long.

Although the government, including Netanyahu’s opponents from the bloc party (Gantz and Eisenkot), agree on the necessity of continuing the war, Netanyahu’s tricks, and his attempt to exclude the latter two from dealing with Hamas’ responses to the framework agreement reached in Paris, made them threaten to withdraw from the government because they feel that Netanyahu He wants to deal with the issue alone in order to thwart the agreement, in order to continue the war while blaming Hamas and saying that its conditions are impossible and cannot be dealt with.

Responding to these conditions means defeating Israel!

Which confirms that he wants the war to continue so that he can remain at the head of the government to avoid the trial that awaits him once he emerges from it on charges of corruption, to which will be added charges of negligence in anticipating and confronting the events of October 7.

This behavior led to the escalation of demonstrations by the families of the prisoners in Tel Aviv in front of the Ministry of War and in Caesarea in front of Netanyahu’s house, and the joining of the head of the Federation of Trade Unions (Histadrut) to demand the conclusion of an exchange deal with the resistance, and to emphasize that prolonging the war would lead to the death of those remaining in captivity by the resistance. .

Disagreements and aggression continue

With this same logic, Netanyahu continues to mobilize and prepare to attack Rafah, stressing that not carrying out this operation in Rafah means “losing the war” against Hamas, and that the operation will take place even if an agreement is reached regarding the prisoners.

Netanyahu asked Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy to remobilize the reserve forces that had been demobilized in preparation for the operation in Rafah, while the official Israeli Broadcasting Authority quoted a senior Israeli official as saying that Netanyahu informed the Cabinet and the War Council that the ground military operation in Rafah must be ended. Rafah with the advent of the month of Ramadan, on the tenth of next March.”

According to the Commission, the ground operation in Rafah will not begin until two conditions are met: the first is a large-scale evacuation of Palestinians from Rafah and its environs, and the second;

An agreement between Israel and Egypt regarding the Israeli army’s activity against the tunnels in the Philadelphia axis.

Washington gave the green light for this operation, as Biden informed Netanyahu in their phone call a few days ago that “the military operation in Rafah should not take place without a reliable and implementable plan!” While the Hebrew channel Kan confirmed that “the White House informed Israel of its no objection to implementing the operation.” Wilderness in Rafah before Ramadan and quickly, and refrain from implementing it during the month of Ramadan in order to avoid a regional escalation!!

This comes despite the torrent of leaks about Biden’s anger at Netanyahu to the point of describing him as a “fool” and a “bad man,” which confirms that Washington, which supports the continuation of the war until the goal of eliminating Hamas is achieved, is not exerting real pressure on the entity to stop its massacres, and that it is trying Adjusting its operations so that they do not lead to global reactions only, and that the goal of these statements is internal consumption as a result of US President Joe Biden’s internal calculations.

Although there are real differences between the two men and the two administrations, related to the extent of targeting civilians, reaching a ceasefire with Hamas, and the post-war vision related to the role of the Authority and the independent state, Biden seems unable or unwilling to put pressure on Netanyahu through aid or diplomatic pressure, and rather continues. Pressure on Congress to approve more than $14 billion in aid to Israel.

A national security memorandum was issued last week requiring that any US military aid be used in accordance with international humanitarian law, but it has not yet been applied to military aid to Israel.

Biden faces opposition within his party and in Congress, and is losing supporters among Arabs and Muslims, whose support for him is an essential element in the swing states. He is likely to lose the elections as the price for his unlimited support for the occupation!

On the other hand, Netanyahu ignores Biden’s demands, and perhaps believes that he is able to influence the American president through AIPAC, and prefers to continue embarrassing him and harm his chances of winning the American elections!

Perhaps he also believes that Biden's overthrow and Trump's victory will constitute a lifeline for him to continue ruling and avoid being tried for corruption and failure on October 7!

He also dreams of appearing in Zionist history as a hero who rejected American pressure, unlike other presidents, and that he restored the entity’s prestige and security.

It is noted here that the global reactions, as a whole, constituted a shift in the positions of the Western countries, which supported the Israeli aggression after October 7. In addition to the support of the governments of Britain, France, and Germany to stop the war, in contrast to the American position, the leaders of Australia and Canada issued, And New Zealand issued a joint statement in which they warned that the operation in Rafah would be "disastrous."

While German Chancellor Schulz stressed that humanitarian aid must enter the Gaza Strip, and the entity must comply with international law, the Dutch Minister of Defense also confirmed that her country is very concerned about the situation in Gaza, considering that the people there need an immediate ceasefire.

Despite all this insistence from Netanyahu, the operations in Rafah come as an attempt to improve his negotiating position, in light of the prisoner exchange and ceasefire negotiations after Hamas responded to this document and its demands related to relief, aid and the release of Palestinian detainees.

Most likely, Netanyahu will eventually be forced to negotiate the terms of the deal after he fails in his mission in Rafah, coupled with the continued steadfastness of the resistance in the north and center, especially since the prolonged battle will multiply international pressure on him, including pressure from the International Court of Justice, which will hold another session to consider the extent of the occupation’s response. While preventing genocide.

In an attempt to overcome international and American objections to the invasion of Rafah, and the refusal of all parties, including Egypt, to displace Palestinians to Al-Arish, several Israeli proposals were put forward, including evacuating the residents of Rafah to Al-Mawasi Beach, so that 15 camps would be established on the seashore, each housing 25,000 people. tent!!

But this, of course, will not prevent the aggression from leading to the displacement of the Palestinians and their displacement to Egypt, especially since the occupation has confirmed that it will not allow their return to northern Gaza. This puts the aggression in front of a new phase that will not be less bad than the previous ones, and will also put the Egyptian government in an embarrassing position, as it had previously That it said that it would not allow the displacement of Palestinians, even though there were indications that it could deal with Israel’s occupation of the Salah al-Din crossing (Philadelphia), despite its violation of the peace agreements between the two countries.

It was observed that the Egyptian authorities paved a buffer zone on the border with Rafah, and Egypt denied that this was to accommodate the displaced Palestinians.

Continued aggression

It seems that Netanyahu and his government are not only seeking to surrender or defeat Hamas, but also to displace the people of Gaza if they have the opportunity to do so, in addition to seeking Hezbollah’s withdrawal to the north of the Litani, controlling the Jordan Valley, and completing settlement and Judaization in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

This behavior may drag the entire region into a regional conflict that Washington avoids, but it does not exercise its influence to restrain this government, which may weaken its role in the region and negatively affect its allies.

As for the political situation and the future of the conflict, it is clear that most Israelis - with the exception of left-leaning peace supporters who have almost disappeared from the Israeli political scene - agree on the position on the Palestinian state, and consider a unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Nothing is more evident than the Israeli government’s unanimous approval of a declaration of intent, agreed upon by Netanyahu and Gantz, which stated that “Israel categorically rejects international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians.”

The declaration stressed that it rejects unilateral international recognition of the Palestinian state, and considered that “a settlement of this kind can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions, and that unilateral international recognition of a Palestinian state is a major reward for terrorism after the October 7 massacre.” "And prevents any future peace settlement."

Therefore, it is expected that the aggression will continue at different paces, which may include a limited prisoner deal or a truce, as Washington is talking about. Regardless of the timing of the aggression against Rafah, it will not provide the occupation with a resolution to the battle, and it is expected that the resistance will continue to remain steadfast in a way that fails the occupation’s goals, which will lead to an increase in disputes. Within the government coalition, the dispute with Washington escalated, and negative interactions against the entity increased globally.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.