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Israel PM's office denies reports of any ceasefire in Gaza

2023 Oct 16, 14:03, Tel Aviv [Israel]
A destroyed building at Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp, following Israeli strikes on the enclave on October 14, (Photo Credits: ANI)

 Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office on Monday denied reports that it has agreed to halt fire in southern Gaza to allow humanitarian aid to enter through the Rafah border crossing, The Times of Israel reported.

A terse statement from Netanyahu's office stated, "At the moment there is no ceasefire for humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip and the exit of foreigners," according to The Times of Israel report.

Taking to X, Israel's Prime Minister's office stated, "The Prime Minister's Office, this morning: There is no ceasefire."

The statement comes after Reuters news agency, citing two Egyptian security officials, reported that Israel agreed to halt fire from 9 am, according to The Times of Israel report.

In a statement, Hamas said that it did not receive confirmation from Egypt regarding the possible opening of the Rafah border crossing, CNN reported.

US Embassy in Jerusalem citing media reports issued a security alert that the Rafah crossing will open at 9 am (local time) on Monday, CNN reported.

The US Embassy in Jerusalem said, "We anticipate that the situation at the Rafah crossing will remain fluid and unpredictable and it is unclear whether, or for how long, travellers will be permitted to transit the crossing," CNN reported.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is the only remaining outlet to move people out of Gaza and send supplies into it. Notably, Israel has closed two border sites and the Rafah crossing has remained shut for much of the past week, according to NBC News report.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced confidence in his recent conversation with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi regarding the delivery of aid to people in Gaza and said that the Rafah crossing will be reopened.

He made the remarks to media persons at Cairo Airport on Sunday and added that the measures are being put in place with the United Nations, Egypt, Israel, and others to get assistance in and to get it to people who need it.

"With regard to Rafah, I had a very good conversation with President El-Sisi. We have put in place - Egypt has put in place a lot of material support for people in Gaza. And Rafah will be reopened. We're putting in place with the United Nations, with Egypt, with Israel, with others, a mechanism by which to get the assistance in and to get it to people who need it," Blinken said.

Meanwhile, Israel's Energy and Infrastructure Minister Israel Katz announced Israel's decision to open the water to the south of the Gaza Strip after it was shut off following Hamas's attack on October 7.

In a statement posted on X, Katz stated, "The decision to open the water to the south of the Gaza Strip, which was agreed upon between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Biden, will result in pushing the civilian population to the south of the Gaza Strip and will make it possible to tighten the general siege on Gaza in the areas of electricity, water and fuel, and will make it easier for the IDF to operate and destroy the Nazi Hamas infrastructure."

On Sunday, the Israel Defence Forces chief said that the army will soon enter the Gaza Strip to decimate the Hamas terror group, reported The Times of Israel.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt General Herzi Halevi told troops in Southern Israel on Sunday, "Our responsibility now is to enter Gaza, to go to the places where Hamas is preparing, acting, planning, launching. Attack them everywhere, every commander, every operative, destroy infrastructure."

"In one word, to win," he added.

The IDF Chief further said that this is a great mission and a great privilege. He added, "We're going to do something big, important, To change the situation for a long, long time... This is a great mission, a great privilege. Do it with excellence." (ANI)


Abdel Fattah El-Sisi Israel Hamas Antony Blinken Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu Egypt Gaza border Gaza
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