The plans to launch a ground offensive in Rafah have reportedly sparked disagreements between the US and Israel.

Palestinians, fleeing Khan Yunis, walk past Israeli military vehicles amid a move towards Rafah, January 30, 2024

Egypt has warned Hamas that it must reach a ceasefire and hostage release agreement with Israel within about two weeks or Israel will launch a ground offensive in Rafah, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

While Western media has reported that Egypt has threatened to suspend ties with Israel if the IDF launches an offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza, Army Radio cited Egyptian officials as saying on Sunday that Egypt would not act to prevent an offensive in Rafah as long as civilians aren’t harmed.

A source in Hamas told the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV channel on Sunday: “Netanyahu is trying to escape from fulfilling the deal by mass slaughter and a new humanitarian disaster in Rafah. A military attack on Rafah means a cessation of the negotiations on a deal.”

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi stated during a cabinet meeting on Sunday morning that the IDF had approved operative plans for a ground offensive in Rafah and would present them as needed. “I prefer not to get into the details here. The media discourse on the topic gets in our way,” said Halevi.

Planned Rafah offensive driving US and Israel apart

The plans to launch a ground offensive in Rafah have reportedly sparkedĀ disagreements between the US and Israel, with a senior Biden administration official telling NBC News on Sunday that there is a growing divide between the US and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden attends a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he visits Israel amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, October 18, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo)

According to The Washington Post, Biden and his top aides are at odds with Netanyahu and no longer view him as a productive partner who can be influenced in private.

While Biden has been hesitant to make his frustrations with Netanyahu public, he is slowly warming to the idea, sources familiar with conversations between Biden and his aides toldĀ the Washington Post.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post