Report: Iran Attack Delays Israel’s Invasion of Rafah

Israeli sources told CNN they planned to drop leaflets on Rafah on Monday, but it was delayed due to deliberations on how to respond to Iran

Iran’s reprisal attack on Israel has delayed Israeli plans to invade the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, CNN reported on Monday, citing Israeli sources.

The sources said that the Israeli Air Force was set to drop leaflets on Rafah on Monday to tell the more than 1 million civilians who are in the city that an offensive was coming. But the plan was put on hold as the Israeli War Cabinet is debating how to respond to Iran firing over 300 missiles and drones at Israeli territory, which came in response to Israel bombing Iran’s consulate in Damascus.

The US has claimed it’s opposed to an Israeli invasion of Rafah since it would incur huge civilian casualties and further disrupt aid coming in from Egypt. But the fact that Israel was planning to drop leaflets on the city demonstrates that President Biden is not putting any real pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

US officials said last week that Israel has not presented any proposals on how to account for the safety of the more than 1 million civilians who are sheltering in the city, which has a pre-war population of about 275,000.

The Israeli sources told CNN that they still plan to launch a full-scale assault on Rafah but are not sure when. The Israeli War Cabinet is focusing on how to respond to Iran and has agreed that an attack will happen, but it’s unclear where or when.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said Monday that at least 33,797 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7, a number that doesn’t take into account the thousands of Palestinians who are missing and presumed dead under the rubble. Taking into account deaths caused by starvation and disease, experts are warning the death toll will top 100,000 by August if conditions don’t change and that it will be higher than 120,000 if there is a military escalation, such as an Israeli invasion of Rafah.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.