Israel’s operation in Rafah doesn’t cross US red lines – White House

The US does not believe Israel’s actions in Rafah amount to a “major ground operation” that could cross a red line for President Joe Biden and trigger a possible change in US policy, the White House has said.


Spokesman John Kirby addressed reporters hours after Israeli forces reached the centre of the city in southern Gaza, and reportedly seized a strategically important hill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mr Biden recently said he would limit weapons supplies to Israel if it entered Rafah’s “population centres”, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are still believed to be sheltering.

Mr Kirby was also questioned about an Israeli strike and a resulting fire that killed at least 45 Palestinians on Sunday.

Many of them were women, children, or elderly, who were sheltering at a camp for displaced people.

Israel has said the strike targeted and killed two senior Hamas officials, and that it believes the fire could cause by an explosion at a Hamas weapons store nearby.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Kirby described images from the aftermath of the strike as “heartbreaking” and “horrific”.

The US state department said it was watching closely for the Israeli military to conduct a quick and thorough investigation into the strike.

Pressed by BBC correspondent Tom Bateman on whether previous such investigations had led to accountability, state department spokesman Matthew Miller declined to name specific cases.

“You cannot reach a conclusion about the results of these investigations in the middle of a conflict,” he said.

When the White House spokesman ask whether the strike violate the limits previously set by President Biden, he say he “no policy changes to speak to”.

“We don’t support, we won’t support a major ground operation in Rafah,” Mr Kirby said.

“The president said that, should that occur, then it might make him have to make different decisions in terms of support.

“We haven’t seen that happen at this point. Have not seen them smash into Rafah.

“We have not seen them go in with large units. Large numbers of troops, in columns and formations in some sort of co-ordinated manoeuvre against multiple targets on the ground.”

Israel has insisted it will not be able to achieve victory in its seven-month war against Hamas in Gaza without taking Rafah and rejected warnings of catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) first began what it called “targeted” ground operations against Hamas fighters and infrastructure in the east of Rafah on 6 May.

Since then, tanks and troops have gradually pushed into built-up eastern and central areas while also moving northwards along the 13km (8-mile) border with Egypt.

Speaking to CNN on 8 May, President Biden he make it clear to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that use historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem”.

He said he had not suspended the supply of weapons at that point because Israel had not yet “gone into the population centres” in Rafah and that its operations had been “right on the border”.

The president is facing growing calls at home to put greater pressure on the Israeli government to ensure everything do to minimise the humanitarian impact of the conflict.

Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, who visited Gaza in January, told the Washington Post: “The escalating civilian death toll and deepening humanitarian catastrophe make clear that the Biden administration should pause additional offensive military assistance to the Netanyahu government until we know that all the president’s requests and including with respect to Rafah and the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance, will respect.”

The post Israel’s operation in Rafah doesn’t cross US red lines – White House appeared first on The Muslim News.

Open chat
Assalamualaikum & Welcome to Surrey Heath Muslim Association;