(Dana Kopel/POOL)

‘The IDF is prepared for the operation and to evacuate the [civilian] population,’ Says Netanyahu.

By Matthew Xiao, Washington Free Beacon

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday approved a planned operation by the Israel Defense Forces to attack Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city and home to about half of the region’s 2.3 million residents.

“The IDF is prepared for the operation and to evacuate the [civilian] population,” Netanyahu said in a statement after meeting with his war cabinet.

The approval came after President Joe Biden last week warned an IDF offensive into Rafah would cross a “red line” and that he would not accept “30,000 more Palestinians dead.”

The Israeli leader in a Sunday interview dismissed Biden’s warning against an operation in Rafah.

“We’ll go there. We’re not going to leave them. You know, I have a red line. You know what the red line is? That October 7 doesn’t happen again. Never happens again,” Netanyahu said, adding that “the positions that I espouse are supported by the overwhelming majority of Israelis.”

Netanyahu on Friday also rejected Hamas’s latest calls for a hostage exchange and a truce, calling the terrorist group’s demands “still absurd,” but said he would send officials to Qatar to continue seeking a truce deal.

“We’ve destroyed three-quarters of Hamas’s fighting terrorism battalions. And we’re close to finishing the last part in warfare,” the prime minister said on Sunday.