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Tags: amir avivi | israel | hamas | rafah

Ret. Gen. Avivi to Newsmax: Hamas Stockpile Fire Killed Refugees

By    |   Wednesday, 29 May 2024 10:41 AM EDT

Retired Israeli Brig. Gen. Amir Avivi, the founder and chairman of the Israel Defense and Security Forum, Wednesday on Newsmax denied that an Israeli airstrike was to blame for a fire that caused the deaths of 45 Gazan refugees at a Rafah camp, insisting that an explosion from Hamas weapons killed them. 

"It comes as no surprise because Hamas has huge stockpiles of weapons concealed in civilian areas," Avivi said "Wake Up America." "We see that in kindergartens, in schools, in hospitals, and this is devastating, every second house [where] the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) is operating, we find weapons of Hamas."

He added that the "whole Gaza Strip is one big fortress of Hamas. They use all the civilian sites for their weapons."

Officials said Monday that the airstrike triggered the fire that swept through the tent camp as action intensifies in Rafah, where the Israeli military is trying to eliminate Hamas leaders, Reuters reported.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the strike had not been intended to cause civilian casualties, telling members of Parliament that "we already evacuated about 1 million non-combatant residents and despite our utmost effort not to harm non-combatants, something unfortunately went tragically wrong."

Rafah, meanwhile, is the key to victory for Israel, said Avivi. 

"Without a ground incursion in Rafah, we're going to lose the war and we're not going to intend to lose the war," he said. "Israel is going to win decisively. All goals of war depend on Rafah. The leadership of Hamas has moved to this area."

Further, Avivi said that all of the hostages still under Hamas control have been taken to Rafah, and the tunnels connecting Egypt to Gaza are in the city as well. 

"The last brigade of Hamas is also in Rafah, so everything depends on this ground incursion," he said. "Israel has made it clear to the [Biden] administration. We are going to win decisively. We are going to bring back our hostages. We're going to destroy Hamas, and this will happen only if we take over all of Rafah."

Avivi also said that the casualty numbers being reported by Gaza's Health Ministry should not be believed. 

"You saw the U.N.," he said. "They talked about a certain number of children and women killed and suddenly, out of the blue, they cut 50 of this number. They don't have a clue about how many people were killed."

But still, he insisted, "Even if you stuck to the numbers of Hamas and the numbers of the IDF [killed] the ratio would be one-to-one, which is unprecedented."

"The U.N. talks about urban warfare," he added. "They talk about a ratio of one-to-nine, meaning for every terrorist that is killed, [there are] nine civilians."

But Israel is "doing amazingly well," considering it is "operating in a very pinpointed area, said Avivi. 

"We have allocated humanitarian areas for the Palestinians," he said. "We don't attack them. We encourage them to move and indeed, more than a million people left the city of Rafah and moved within days to the shore of Gaza on the southern part."

Avivi further said that Israel's attack "wasn't in a humanitarian area," but was in an area where "there are terrorists. We encourage the people to move out of the areas we are operating."

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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Retired Israeli Brig. Gen. Amir Avivi, the founder and chairman of the Israel Defense and Security Forum, Wednesday on Newsmax denied that an Israeli airstrike was to blame for a fire that caused the deaths of 45 Gazan refugees at a Rafah camp, insisting that an explosion...
amir avivi, israel, hamas, rafah
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2024-41-29
Wednesday, 29 May 2024 10:41 AM
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