The Israeli army says it is continuing to advance against the Islamist Hamas in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari announced that its own ground troops had now reached the Shabura area from where the Hamas terrorists were attacking.

The International Court of Justice, however, obliges Israel to immediately end the military operation in Rafah. With the decision, the highest court of the United Nations in The Hague responded to a demand from South Africa.

“We are not storming Rafah, but we are proceeding carefully and precisely,” emphasized Hagari. Israel wants to destroy the last remaining Hamas battalions in Rafah.

Israeli army: Dozens of terrorists killed in Rafah

“So far, we have eliminated more than 180 terrorists in Rafah,” said Hagari. The army has also destroyed launchers and rockets that were intended to be fired into Israeli territory. In addition, underground Hamas tunnels and shafts have been dug. Work is underway to locate more. “The operation on the ground is intensive and determined, with difficult fighting in complex areas,” the spokesman explained.

Following Israel’s calls for evacuation, around one million civilians have now left the city. Before the Israeli army began its invasion, more than one million internally displaced people from other parts of the Gaza Strip sought protection in Rafah. South Africa’s urgent application is arguing that it is about preventing genocide against Palestinians. The reason given is that the court’s previous measures in connection with the war in Gaza are not sufficient.

Israel’s advance into Rafah began on May 6 in the east of the city, which borders Egypt. The USA, as Israel’s most important ally, recently stated that the operations in Rafah had not yet reached the scale that the US government had warned about. The US rejects a major Israeli ground offensive in Rafah. Previous Israeli operations “were more targeted and limited and did not include major military operations in the center of densely populated urban areas,” US President Joe Biden’s security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

“We now have to wait and see how the situation develops,” he added. Having reached Shabura, the army is now fighting near the city center of Rafah, wrote the New York Times. After almost eight months of war, Rafah is the last somewhat intact city in the Gaza Strip.

Minister Gantz wants a commission of inquiry on October 7th

The war was triggered by an unprecedented massacre by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7 last year in the Israeli border area. The terrorist attack left more than 1,200 people dead and more than 250 taken hostage in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, more than 35,700 people have been killed in Israel’s subsequent military offensive in Gaza. Meanwhile, Benny Gantz, minister in Israel’s war cabinet, spoke out in favor of a commission of inquiry to clarify how the terrorist attack in Israel on October 7th came about.

“It is not enough that we take responsibility for what happened – we must learn from it and act so that it never happens again,” he said in a video message on the X platform. Prime Minister Netanyahu had previously denied in a statement that he had received warnings from the military about a possible attack from the Gaza Strip.

According to media reports, before Hamas’ surprise attack, scouts on the border with the Gaza Strip repeatedly warned in vain about suspicious events in the sealed-off coastal area.

Report: CIA director wants to revive negotiations

Five of the scouts, who were kidnapped in the October 7 raid on Gaza, are seen in disturbing video footage released by Hamas. The young women’s parents agreed to the publication in the hope that the horrific images could help secure the release of their daughters and other hostages in a deal between Israel and Hamas.

According to the usually well-informed Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, CIA Director Bill Burns will travel to Europe in the next few days to meet with the head of Israel’s Mossad foreign intelligence service, David Barnea, to try to break deadlocked talks about releasing the hostage and to revive a ceasefire. Qatari and Egyptian officials could attend the meeting, Ravid wrote on

Egypt wants to allow aid through the Kerem Shalom border crossing

Egypt has meanwhile agreed to open the important Kerem Shalom border crossing in the south of the Gaza Strip for deliveries of humanitarian aid and fuel. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi agreed to this in a conversation with his US counterpart Joe Biden, the Egyptian side said.

The White House said Biden welcomed the commitment to “provisionally” allow the delivery of humanitarian aid provided by the United Nations through the Kerem Shalom border crossing. “This will help save lives,” the US government headquarters said in a statement. The USA had repeatedly called for the border crossing to be opened.

A spokesman for Al-Sisi said that the aid should be handed over to the United Nations at the border crossing on the sealed-off coastal strip. This is a preliminary agreement. The White House statement added that Biden expressed his “full support for efforts to reopen the Rafah border crossing” with arrangements acceptable to both Egypt and Israel. The US President has also agreed to send a high-level team to Cairo next week for further talks.