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Israel Is About To Invade Rafah, Here Is Why

Israel is on the cusp of a ground invasion of Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, and the last refuge for thousands of Palestinians who have fled violence elsewhere.

In recent hours, the IDF has taken control of the Rafah border-crossing on the Gaza side, while yesterday Palestinians were ordered to evacuate the city.

Today on The Briefing, Bension Siebert is joined by Antony Loewenstein, an independent journalist, film-maker and author of the best-selling book, The Palestine Laboratory.

While Australia and the international community have cautioned against Israeli ground attack of Rafah, Israel says the invasion of Rafah is inevitable in their quest to eradicate Hamas.

On today’s The Briefing episode, Bension Siebert is joined by Antony Loewenstein, an independent journalist, film-maker and author of the best-selling book, The Palestine Laboratory, to discuss why Israel is about to invade Rafah.

Mr Loewenstein said it would be “devastating” for people trying to survive in Rafah. 

“It’ll be devastating. I have friends and colleagues, journalist colleagues and just friends in Gaza who are still there in the last month. Some have gone to Egypt and beyond,” he said.

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“The humanitarian situation in Gaza is beyond words,” he added.

Mr Loewenstein emphasised that the notion of entering Rafah to capture some of its leaders, even though some may not be present there anymore, and to destroy the tunnels beneath Gaza, poses a significant risk to the safety of the hostages.

“How many are still alive? 30, 40, 50? No, I don’t know. And I’m not sure even Israel arguably knows how many are still alive,” he said.

He mentioned that there was a growing desire to end the war, reach an agreement, and secure the release of the hostages.

However, Mr Loewenstein said Israel’s political agenda depends on Benjamin Netanyahu, but encompasses the entire government.

“In this age-old tradition that somehow if you support and continue the war, you will get public backing and increasing, that doesn’t look like that’s happening.”

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