News Release

Israel Refuses to Stop Attacks, Escalates Against Rafah


AP reports: “Hamas accepts Gaza cease-fire; Israel says it will continue talks but presses on with Rafah attacks.” AFP reports: “Israel Hostage Families Urge Foreign Pressure for Gaza Truce.” Common Dreams reports: “Cutting Off Lifeline for Starving Gazans, Israel Seizes Control of Rafah Crossing” Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor just released the statement: “Gaza: With its potential military operation in Rafah, Israel threatens to execute over 1.2 million Palestinians.” Norwegian Refugee Council released: “Rafah: An Israeli military offensive will lead to mass atrocities.”

Lynk served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory from 2016 to 2022. He is a non-resident fellow at Democracy for the Arab World Now. See his interview with the Electronic Intifada.

MOUIN RABBANI,, @MouinRabbani
Rabbani has published and commented widely on Palestinian affairs and the contemporary Middle East. He is co-editor of Jadaliyya. See a recent commentary and his past articles including “The Problem of Karim Khan” about the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

Rabbani just posted a widely distributed thread on X: “On Tuesday evening it appeared the end was finally in sight. Hamas formally accepted the ceasefire proposal put forward by Egypt and Qatar, and spontaneous celebrations erupted in the streets of Rafah and other Palestinian towns in the Gaza Strip.

“Given that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other US officials have repeatedly insisted that Hamas forms the sole obstacle to a ceasefire agreement, Palestinians could be forgiven for believing that day 213 of this genocidal ordeal would be the last.

“The euphoria however proved short-lived. Several hours later the office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that Israel’s war cabinet had unanimously agreed that the proposal ‘is far from Israel’s necessary requirements,’ and that its latest offensive on the southern town of Rafah abutting the Palestinian-Egyptian border would continue as planned. Indeed, Israel’s Western-supplied and supported military launched intensive air and artillery strikes to support an incursion into Rafah that commenced shortly after Netanyahu’s announcement. …

“So long as Blinken takes center stage in U.S. Middle East diplomacy it can safely be ignored. … [See “Leaked State Department Memo: Israeli Assurances ‘Neither Credible Nor Reliable.’“]

“Among the key sticking points in the negotiations is that Hamas demanded an end to Israel’s war while Israel insisted on continuing it. …

“For the record, U.S. assurances to the Palestinians over the years have been honoured mainly in the breach. This was most prominently the case in 1982, when the Reagan administration guaranteed the protection of civilians remaining in Beirut after the PLO withdrawal from the Lebanese capital, but did nothing to stop the Sabra-Shatila massacres.”