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Reserve General Israel Ziv criticized the planned invasion of Rafah. (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Despite international warnings, Israel insists on going ahead with invasion of Gaza’s southernmost city, which is currently home to more than 1.4 million displaced Palestinians.

At least 30 Israeli paratrooper reservists have refused to answer their call-up to participate in a planned ground attack in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, reserve General Israel Ziv said that the invasion of Rafah would be a strategic mistake since Israeli captives will likely not survive.

Refusing to Take Part in the Duties

Israeli Channel 12 reported on Sunday that the 20 reservists said they didn’t feel able to take part in their duties.

According to the report, Israeli army commanders will not force the reservists to show up to fight in Rafah.

Despite international warnings, Israel insists on going ahead with invasion of Gaza’s southernmost city, which is currently home to more than 1.4 million displaced Palestinians.

A senior Israeli defense official reportedly revealed last Wednesday that Israel’s military is preparing to evacuate Palestinian civilians from the southernmost city of Rafah and invade the area, despite global warnings about the risk of a humanitarian catastrophe.

On Saturday, however, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced that a planned military operation in Rafah could be suspended if a hostage deal is reached with Hamas.

Moreover, speaking to ABC on Sunday, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said that Israel has assured the US that it will not proceed with an operation in Rafah until American perspectives and concerns have been thoroughly communicated.

‘Time is Crucial’

Israeli captives will likely not survive an invasion of Rafah, General Ziv told Israeli broadcaster Channel 12 on Sunday, according to the Lebanese news network Al-Mayadeen 

“Time has become crucial for the lives of the prisoners,” the former commander of the Israeli military’s Operations Directorate reportedly stated. 

Moreover, Ziv stressed that a possible invasion of Rafah would not be quick and would “last for months,” meaning that Israeli captives held by the Palestinian Resistance would be subject to harsher circumstances imposed on them by the Israeli army itself.

According to The Palestinian Resistance, at least 70 Israeli captives have been killed due to the lack of medication, food, and water in the Gaza Strip or in direct strikes on their positions by Israeli occupation forces. 

A number of the living captives are reportedly being held in Rafah. 

No captives were retrieved so far in direct wide-scale attacks in other areas, including Khan Younis, the central Gaza Strip, and northern Gaza.

According to Ziv, the invasion would be a “strategic mistake,” as “the keys (to Rafah) will be handed back to Hamas again, as happened in Khan Yunis and the northern Gaza Strip.”

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,454 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,575 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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