Israel Considers Attacking Iran and Invading Rafah as Netanyahu Seeks Lifelines to Stay in Power

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New reporting indicates that the Biden administration has approved Israel’s plan to attack Rafah in exchange for Israel not launching counterstrikes on Iran. “Israel is almost certainly going to respond to the Iranian strike in some way,” says Mairav Zonszein, a senior Israel analyst for the International Crisis Group. Now “it has the benefit of being able to dangle both threats”: an invasion on Rafah that would heavily increase the death toll of Palestinians in Gaza, or an attack on Iran that would likely spark a wider regional war. While Israeli approval of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has drastically waned, Zonszein suggests that its military campaign shows no signs of stopping. “Israeli society is largely a right-wing society. It is a society that has not spoken about or thought about Palestinians or the occupation except when it’s forced to. And it’s a society that has gotten used to acting with impunity.”

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