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Israel to continue Rafah operation as Gaza truce talks collapse: official


Published:

2024-05-14

JERUSALEM -- The Israeli army will continue its operation in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah "as planned," after the talks on the Israel-Hamas truce held in Egypt's Cairo collapsed on Thursday, an Israeli official told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, a Xinhua correspondent covering the developments reported mass Israeli troops stationed on the border with Rafah.

The unnamed Israeli official confirmed that the Israeli delegation has left Cairo after talks with Hamas, the United States, Egyptian, and Qatari negotiators on a deal to end the hostilities and secure the release of hostages in Gaza.

The official did not elaborate on whether Israel will expand the offensive to more areas in Rafah at the southern end of Gaza, where about 1.2 million internally displaced Palestinians were taking refuge.

According to Israel's state-owned Kan TV news, the talks were halted due to Israel's ongoing ground assault on Rafah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wartime cabinet was scheduled to meet later on Thursday to discuss the continuation of the Rafah operation.

Commenting on US President Joe Biden's decision to pause some shipments of weapons to Israel if it deepens its assault on Rafah city, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it has enough weapons to continue operations in Gaza.

"The IDF has armaments for the operations it is planning, also for the operation in Rafah," IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a statement. "We have what we need," he stressed.

"The US has so far provided security assistance to Israel and the IDF in an unprecedented manner," Hagari added, noting that "even when there are disagreements between us -- we resolve them in closed rooms."