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Hamas: Rafah invasion criminal move meant to serve Netanyahu’s interests

File photo of Osama Hamdan, the representative of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in Lebanon

A senior member of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has strongly condemned Israel’s plan to launch a ground invasion against the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah as a criminal move.

Osama Hamdan, who represents Hamas in Lebanon, made the remarks in a Monday press conference in Beirut, saying, “We consider the invasion of Rafah, which is crowded with displaced people, a criminal move.”

He added that the attack on Rafah has been planned by Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to serve his own personal interests and prevent the cessation of the regime’s aggression against the coastal territory.

Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military on Friday to prepare to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a planned ground operation against the city. Aid organizations, however, say such a move will be nearly impossible, given the scale of devastation elsewhere in Gaza and the huge number of people trapped in the besieged area.

Israel’s planned aggression comes as more than 1.4 million people, about five times Rafah's usual population, have fled to the city amid the regime’s genocide across Gaza, which has killed upwards of 28,300 Palestinians since its commencement on October 7, 2023.

Hamdan stated that Israel’s “Nazi criminal” prime minister is lying when he claims that the planned invasion of Rafah is aimed at destroying what he calls the Hamas brigades there.

“He speaks as if his defeated, broken army has succeeded in dismantling the resistance in other parts of the Gaza Strip, while the truth is what the world is watching,” the Hamas official stressed.

He added that the terrorist regime of Netanyahu and its Nazi army ignore the decision of the International Court of Justice, which called on Israel two weeks ago to take urgent measures to stop acts of genocide in Gaza.

Hamdan noted that actions taken by the Israeli regime confirm “the existence of a prior intent and deliberate intent to commit the crime of genocide.”

The Hamas representative said Netanyahu has threatened to attack civilians in Rafah, who have taken refugee in schools, along the roads, and in open areas under miserable conditions.

He said the people of Rafah have been subjected to brutal bombardment for days, which has left many of them dead, “despite claims by the Zionist entity and the American administration that Rafah is a safe area.”

He asserted that in addition to Israel, the United States administration and its President Joe Biden bear full responsibility for this massacre because of the unbridled support they provide for Netanyahu by supplying his regime with money, weapons, and political backing to continue his war of genocide and massacres.

Hamdan also called on the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the United Nations Security Council to take urgent and serious action to prevent Israel from committing genocide in Rafah and stop its ongoing aggression against Gaza.

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