Gallant: Hamas refusal of hostage deal forces us to start Rafah operation

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

File: Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Washington, DC, on March 26, 2024. (Drew Angerer/AFP)
File: Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Washington, DC, on March 26, 2024. (Drew Angerer/AFP)

Meeting with families of hostages, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says Israel will continue efforts to free those held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, amid the upcoming ground operation against the terror group in Rafah.

“The actions to return your loved ones continue all the time, even now. We are committed to achieving the goals of the war, but the refusal of Hamas of any plan that would allow the return of the hostages forces us to start the operation in Rafah,” he says to the families, according to his office.

“Even after the start of the operation in Rafah, all efforts to bring home the hostages will continue,” Gallant says.

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