ARAB AND WORLD

Thu 22 Feb 2024 8:31 am - Jerusalem Time

American diplomat: If Rafah is invaded, there will be no deal

A diplomatic source told CNN that if Israel launches a military operation in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, there will be no deal to release the hostages.


The diplomatic source familiar with the progress of the indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the United States in Cairo, told CNN: “If there is an operation against Rafah, we can forget about achieving any deal.”


The source indicated that the remaining period until the beginning of Ramadan on March 10 will be “decisive” for the negotiations, and that any Israeli military operation during Ramadan will increase tensions in the region.


The diplomat said, "It does not seem that (Israeli Prime Minister) Netanyahu wants any deal at the moment."


In this context, the US envoy for Middle East affairs, Brett McGurk, returned to Cairo on Wednesday, heading to Israel on Thursday to continue efforts aimed at concluding a deal that is expected to include a ceasefire and the exchange of detainees between Israel and Hamas.

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American diplomat: If Rafah is invaded, there will be no deal