Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sharply criticized world leaders who advised Israel not to start operations in Rafah. Netanyahu said that not entering Rafah is like losing the war against Hamas and stressed that Israeli forces will attack the remaining Hamas terrorist battalions in Rafah. Netanyahu also stressed that it is part of Israel’s war effort to protect civilians. Rafah currently has more than 1.3 million inhabitants, including evacuees from other parts of Gaza. The Israeli prime minister has ordered the army to plan the evacuation of civilians from Rafah. Meanwhile, Hamas warned that attacking Rafah will end any negotiations for a hostage deal.