Israeli official: Rafah op still being readied, we won’t give up on war goals even if there’s a deal

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Palestinians walk in a camp for displaced people in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip by the border with Egypt on April 28, 2024. (AFP)
Palestinians walk in a camp for displaced people in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip by the border with Egypt on April 28, 2024. (AFP)

As international pressure continues to be applied on Hamas to accept Israel’s latest offer for a hostage deal, an Israeli official says that “preparations for Rafah are continuing.”

Reports over the weekend indicated that Israel was open to discussing an end to the war in the second stage of a deal, which would start with an extended truce.

“In any deal, if there is one, Israel will not give up on the goals of the war,” the official said.

A different Israeli official told The Times of Israel earlier in the day that the current talks are the last chance to forestall an invasion of Rafah, Hamas’s last stronghold.

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