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The significance of Rafah, Gaza’s lifeblood, as Israel prepares to attack.


Israel intends to attack Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, on the ground. This explains why Rafah is strategically and geographically significant—it is known as Gaza’s lifeline.

In Short

  • Israel forces ‘moving ahead’ with a ground operation in Rafah
  • Rafah is located along the Egypt-Gaza Strip border
  • Rafah only crossing that isn’t directly controlled by Israel

On March 20, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed US President Joe Biden that “the Israel Defense Forces entering Rafah is necessary to complete the victory (against Hamas).” Rafah’s explicit mention by the Israeli prime minister demonstrates the region’s strategic and geographical significance in the struggle against Hamas.

Israel is about to begin a ground offensive in Rafah, the southernmost city of Gaza and a lifeline for its citizens, almost a month after speaking with Biden on the phone.

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