Middle East expert breaks down the tensions in Rafah and what could happen next

(KXAN) — As the conflict in Rafah continues, senior Middle East analyst Ryan Bohl with RANE, explains when it may end and what happens next.

“The Rafah combat operations that are going on right now, and they’re relatively minor compared to what we saw in the earlier phase of the war, those seem like they could go on for a few more weeks, possibly a few more months,” said Bohl.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the fighting will stop, he said.

“Actors like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran still have an incentive to carry out attacks on Israel out of solidarity with this insurgency in Gaza. So we don’t go back to the status quo of before October 7. But we do shift over for the Israelis, the tension towards the north, towards Lebanon.”

Bohl said there is increasing pressure from high-ranking Israeli officials on Benjamin Netanyahu to come up with public strategy for managing Gaza, once the operations in Rafah wind down, while others demand a strategy for Lebanon.

“And that is the place we have to watch next as to whether or not there can be a diplomatic breakthrough,” said Bohl.

“That allows for there to be de-escalation in the north or If Israel builds up the forces freed up from fighting in Gaza, on the northern frontier to prepare for a full scale invasion of Lebanon.”

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