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Netanyahu is pursuing war 'for his personal career', Palestinian FM says

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Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday of caring only about his political survival as attempts to end the conflict in Gaza appeared inconclusive.

Foreign Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Riyad al-Maliki,  Reuters/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday of caring only about his political survival as attempts to end the conflict in Gaza appeared inconclusive.

More than 28,000 people have been killed and 68,000 injured in Gaza (according to Hamas) during Israel's retaliatory military campaign against Hamas militants who run the enclave following their deadly cross-border attack into southern Israel on Oct. 7, when they killed 1,200 people and took 253 hostages.

Now, concerns are mounting of an Israeli ground offensive against the town of Rafah, a last refuge for more than a million Palestinians virtually trapped after they fled to the south of the enclave to avoid Israeli strikes.

Maliki, a member of the Palestinian Authority running the West Bank, said it was imperative to find ways to prevent an attack on Rafah.

"Netanyahu is determined that he wants to continue the war for his personal career, for his personal future, and it is very clear that he doesn't care about the destiny, the lives of innocent people, both in Israel and in Palestine, the Israeli hostages and the Palestinian innocent people in Gaza," Maliki said after meeting Constantinos Kombos, the Cypriot foreign minister.

In Jerusalem, there was no immediate reply from Netanyahu's office to a request for comment on Maliki's remark.

Cyprus, the closest EU member state to the Middle East, has proposed setting up a dedicated, one way maritime corridor to deliver aid directly into Gaza. The project cannot get off the ground without a sustained ceasefire.

"We agree that the escalating humanitarian needs call for a scaled up, unhindered flow of aid," the Cypriot minister said.

Reporting by Michele Kambas

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