Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly commented for the first time on the start of the operation in Rafah and the recent events in the negotiations for a deal.

"Yesterday, with the consent of the war cabinet, I ordered the start of the operation in Rafah, and within a few hours, our soldiers replaced Hamas flags with Israeli flags. The operation in Rafah contributes to achieving both goals of the war: crushing Hamas and returning the kidnapped," the prime minister said.

He emphasized that Israel will not allow Hamas to restore its wicked rule in the Strip or to rehabilitate its military capabilities.

"I have instructed the Israeli negotiating team sent to Cairo to insist on Israel's conditions necessary for the release of the hostages and its security demands," Netanyahu said.