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IDF Gains Control of Rafah Crossing As Operation Continues To Eliminate Last Battalions Of Hamas, Against Wishes Of The White House

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The operation to clear the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip is continuing this morning.

IDF forces led by Division 162 began a targeted activity to thwart terrorist targets of the terrorist organization Hamas in East Rafah; As part of the operation, the forces gained operational control over the Rafah crossing on the Gaza side, following intelligence information about terrorists using the crossing for terrorist purposes, reported the IDF spokesperson.

The ground operation in Rafah has begun, there is no disputing that, reported independent journalist Amir Tsarfati.

There are significant achievements in the field – the control of the Rafah crossing, there is no dispute about that either.

In spite of all this and despite explicit and public promises from senior Hamas officials that action in Rafah will cause the negotiations to stop – Hamas has not yet announced the suspension of talks for a deal .

This is an important fact. The military pressure serves the Israeli negotiator. Negotiations under fire. This is how negotiations are done in the Middle East. The importance here is also in visibility. Israel takes initiative and action and does not play into the hands of Hamas, in negotiations from a position of weakness.

The statement from the Israeli Defense Minister after speaking to US SecDef Austin yesterday is below:

*Defense Minister Yoav Gallant Speaks with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin*

Overnight, Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant spoke with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Minister Gallant briefed the Secretary on the attack conducted by the Hamas terrorist organization, in which approximately 10 projectiles were fired from the area adjacent to the Rafah Crossing toward the area of the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing.

During their discussion, Minister Gallant discussed the efforts undertaken to achieve the release of hostages and indicated that at this stage, Hamas refuses the frameworks at hand. Minister Gallant emphasized that military action is required, including in the area of Rafah, at the lack of an alternative.

Hamas continues to conduct attacks on the State of Israel and its citizens, while also indicating a lack of seriousness in regard to the frameworks that were submitted for the release of hostages.

The State of Israel will not tolerate the ongoing presence of terrorist frameworks bordering its communities, and is committed to achieving the goals of the war – the destruction of Hamas as a military and governing authority, and the return of 132 hostages.

Minister Gallant expressed his appreciation to Secretary Austin for his partnership and leadership, and highlighted the important role of the United States as it relates to the hostage issue and regional parties involved.

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