The Middle East is short of exploding.
Report: Egypt warns Israel Rafah offensive may lead to suspension of peace treaty – Times of Israel, Feb 10 2024
Egypt and Saudi Arabia have added their voices to a rising tide of criticism of a planned Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Rafah, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that such a campaign was forthcoming.
Netanyahu announced Friday that he had ordered the Israeli military to present the cabinet with a plan to both evacuate the city’s civilian population — augmented by over one million refugees from the strip’s north and center — and destroy Hamas’s remaining battalions in the area.
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The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Egyptian officials warned the decades-long peace treaty between Egypt and Israel could be suspended if Israel Defense Forces’ troops enter Rafah, or if any of Rafah’s refugees are forced southward into the Sinai Peninsula.
In addition, Saudi Arabia — which has already conditioned normalization with Israel on an end to hostilities and steps toward the establishment of a Palestinian state — issued a statement Saturday warning of “the extremely dangerous repercussions of storming and targeting the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip,” given the city being “the last refuge for hundreds of thousands of people.”
Reuters reported that in an effort to forestall a massive influx of refugees, Egypt has over the past two weeks stationed some 40 tanks near its border with Gaza, after having reinforced the border wall since the beginning of hostilities, both structurally and with surveillance equipment.
On Friday, Israel’s Channel 12 also reported that IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi was opposed to Netanyahu’s plan for a swift Rafah campaign, saying that although the military is technically capable of such an operation, it would be unwise to undertake it without coordination with the Egyptians and plans for the city’s massive refugee population.
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Sayyed Nasrallah Receives Iranian FM, Discuss Latest Regional Developments – Al Manar, Feb 10 2024
The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, received the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian,
Amir-Abdollahian and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah discussed a variety of issues regarding the developments in the region and the situation in the Gaza Strip during the meeting.
Preparations are ongoing:
I have a bad feeling here. Many things could get wrong and people will be hurt on all sides.
Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.