American military experts: Israel must invade Rafah

Assaulting the southern Gaza border town is the only way to fully defeat Hamas, says prominent US general David Petraeus.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
Hamas and its terrorist allies remain deeply entrenched and ready to fight in Rafah on the Gaza-Egypt border. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
Hamas and its terrorist allies remain deeply entrenched and ready to fight in Rafah on the Gaza-Egypt border. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

The Biden Administration insists there are “alternatives” to Israel conducting a major military ground operation in Rafah. In doing so it has set the stage for an IDF assault on the last remaining Hamas stronghold in Gaza to become the next point of condemnation against the Jewish state.

But leading American military experts say the White House is wrong, and that an Israeli invasion of Rafah is absolutely necessary if Hamas is to be defeated and the threat it poses to Israel ended.

If Hamas is not defeated, it will rebuild and attack again, explained Gen. (ret.) David Petraeus, former commander of all US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, in an interview this week with Sky News.

“I agree with Israel, it does have to destroy Hamas,” stressed Petraeus, who also served as head of the CIA from 2011-2012. And to do that, Israel must enter Rafah, which Petraeus described as the “most fiendishly difficult” urban warfare situation. But that doesn’t negate the fact that it must be done. “They have to go in there, Hamas cannot be allowed to remain.” What’s important, in the American general’s assessment, is “how” the IDF takes Rafah.

Petraeus also suggested that to properly defeat Hamas and restore Gaza, the IDF will need to be there for a considerable amount of time, and will need to build fortifications and control the territory with an iron fist.

John Spencer, head of urban warfare studies at the United States Military Academy West Point, concurred that Israel had no choice but to invade Rafah and bring the war to a victorious conclusion.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz have both vowed that Israel will finish off Hamas in Rafah, even if it must do so without American support.