United States officials warn Israel against the invasion of Rafah.


United States warn Israel against the invasion of Rafah. Leading US officials issued strong cautions on Sunday against an Israeli invasion of Rafah, stating that a significant ground assault in the southern Gaza city would result in a large number of civilian deaths, ignite an insurgency led by Hamas, and leave a power vacuum that the terror group would eventually try to fill.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan raised concerns following President Joe Biden’s request last week on CNN, stating that he would halt some arms deliveries in the event of an Israeli invasion of Rafah.

According to Blinken and Sullivan, Biden decided because he didn’t want American weapons to be used in what he believed to be a clumsy and violent operation.

They also attempted to refute Republican and pro-Israeli Democratic charges that Biden was abandoning Israel to fend for itself. Additionally, Blinken attempted to clarify why, last week, his organization was unable to reach a definitive judgment regarding whether Israel’s assault against Hamas was compliant with international law. This conclusion prompted condemnation from human rights organizations and certain parliamentarians.

In the course of its conflict in Gaza, Israel has killed more civilians than Hamas terrorists, according to Blinken, who stated on Sunday that Israel must take further steps to reduce the number of civilian deaths.

“Considering the impact that this operation, this war in Gaza, has had on the civilian population, Israel has processes, procedures, rules, and regulations to try to minimize civilian harm, but those have not been applied consistently and effectively,” Blinken stated on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

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Over 35,000 people have died in the enclave as a result of Israeli military operations, according to a Sunday report from the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Israel is ready to move forward with its advance into Rafah despite months-old American cautions about the impracticality of a ground invasion. Some of the 1.4 million civilians thought to be taking refuge there have been ordered to evacuate.

Blinken said on Sunday that going “headlong into Rafah” could have disastrous results.

“On Sunday, Blinken stated on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “Israel is on the trajectory, potentially, to inherit an insurgency with many armed Hamas left, or, if it leaves, a vacuum filled by disorder, filled by anarchy, and probably refilled by Hamas.”

While acknowledging that it is unlikely to eradicate Hamas, Sullivan cautioned that an Israeli attack would result in “really significant civilian casualties.”

Biden concluded that US weaponry shouldn’t be employed in a Rafah attack partly because of this.

“He’s against the use of American weaponry in that kind of operation,” Sullivan stated on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

That does not imply that he will forsake Israel or deny them access to weapons. He concentrated on a specific operation that he believed would do grave harm and was unlikely to succeed in defeating Hamas.

According to the White House, Sullivan “reiterated President Biden’s longstanding concerns over the potential for a major military ground operation into Rafah” during a phone conversation with his Israeli counterpart, Tzachi Hanegbi, on Sunday.

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A White House summary of the call stated, “Mr Hanegbi confirmed that Israel is taking US concerns into account.”

According to Blinken, Israel has rejected US recommendations for creating a strategy for Gaza after the war.

“We have spent many weeks creating vital plans for government, security, and reconstruction. We have been working on that strategy with Arab nations and others; we haven’t seen that emerge from Israel. We also have to see that. Our goal is the same as Israel’s. He told CBS, “We want to ensure that Hamas cannot rule Gaza once more.” 

In a study published last week, the State Department concluded that it is “reasonable to assess” that Israeli troops have employed US weaponry in Gaza in a manner that is “inconsistent” with international humanitarian law. The findings did not, however, go so far as to declare that Israel had broken the law.

“Double standards are not applied to us. Blinken stated on NBC that “we treat Israel, one of our closest allies and partners, just as we would treat any other country.”

Even so, he said that making such a comprehensive decision was difficult while the battle was on.

Blinken told CBS, “That makes it very difficult to determine exactly what happened and to draw any conclusions from any one incident,” especially during a conflict.

Even though Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s relationship is at its most strained since Hamas’ October 7 strikes, the top US diplomat played down a widening divide between the two men.

Blinken remarked, “We speak the truth to each other as we see it because we are clear-eyed.” “Our primary concern is the interests of the United States. We also consider the interests of Israel. Additionally, there could be disagreements about goals and the best ways to pursue them. However, it is also how the connection is.

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Credit: CNN