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    Israel Vows to ‘Finish the Job’ in Gaza as War Cabinet Member Threatens a Ramadan Deadline for Rafah

    Israel Vows to ‘Finish the Job' in Gaza as War Cabinet Member Threatens a Ramadan Deadline for Rafah

    RAFAH, Strip (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday brushed off growing calls to halt the offensive in Gaza, vowing to “finish the job” as a member of his War Cabinet threatened to invade the southern of Rafah if remaining Israeli hostages are not freed by the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

    's government has not publicly discussed a timeline for a ground offensive on Rafah, where more than half the enclave's 2.3 million Palestinians have sought refuge. Retired general Benny Gantz, part of Netanyahu's three-member War Cabinet, represents an influential voice but not the final word on what might lie ahead.

    “If by Ramadan our hostages are not home, the fighting will continue to the Rafah area,” Gantz told a conference of Jewish American leaders. Ramadan, expected to begin March 10, is historically a tense time in the region.

    As cease-fire negotiations struggle after signs of progress in recent weeks, Netanyahu has called demands by Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group “delusional.”

    The United States, Israel's top ally, says it still hopes to broker a cease-fire and hostage-release agreement, and envisions a wider resolution of the war sparked by Hamas' deadly Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel.

    The U.S. also says it will veto another draft U.N. resolution calling for a cease-fire, with its U.N. ambassador warning against measures that could jeopardize “the…

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