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President Biden warns Netanyahu against Rafah attack


The White House reports that President Biden warned Prime Minister Netanyahu against launching an assault in Rafah.

According to reports, the US president has suggested to the Israeli prime minister that a well-thought-out plan is necessary to tackle the issue of Hamas in Gaza.

The United States has issued a strong cautionary message to Israel, advising against a potential invasion of the densely populated city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. The US government believes that a ground operation would worsen the already severe humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave. 

At a press briefing on Monday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan made it clear that President Joe Biden is fully dedicated to defeating Hamas. According to Sullivan, President Biden expressed his opinion to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that launching a large-scale attack on Rafah would not be a wise decision.

"The potential consequences of this action, as highlighted by Sullivan, are concerning. They include an increase in innocent civilian casualties, a worsening of the already severe humanitarian crisis, a further descent into chaos in Gaza, and an even greater international isolation for Israel," Sullivan stated. 

Reports indicate that the number of Palestinian casualties in Gaza has reached a significant 31,000 since the conflict started on October 7. Following a devastating attack on southern Israel, the region has experienced a significant increase in violence, resulting in the tragic loss of over 1,100 lives.

According to Sullivan, Biden asked Netanyahu to send a group of intelligence and military experts to Washington, DC, to discuss concerns about a potential incursion into Rafah. 

Amidst the conflict, Israeli authorities instructed Palestinian civilians in Gaza to move to the southern regions as they made progress into the territory from the north. 

Residents were first displaced to the central area of the enclave before being relocated to the southern city of Khan Younis. They were forced to flee again to Rafah, a town on the Egyptian border. 

Within a short span of five months, the population of Rafah has experienced a remarkable surge, reaching an astonishing figure of over 1.5 million individuals. This represents a substantial rise from its pre-war population of approximately 300,000

Israeli leaders have repeatedly expressed their intentions to access Rafah, a crucial hub for humanitarian assistance that flows in from the Egyptian border. 

Nevertheless, the United Nations has issued a severe warning regarding the looming famine in the territory. Western countries, along with Israel's European allies, have expressed concerns about the possibility of an attack on Rafah. 

As per Sullivan's analysis, the United States has now joined the growing number of voices advocating for action, shedding light on the grave circumstances faced by Palestinians in Rafah, who are faced with limited choices.

Netanyahu and Biden have been in regular phone communication since October 7, but there are indications that their relationship is strained despite the strong support of the US president for Israel.

In a recent statement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a prominent figure within the Democratic Party, shared his perspective on the peace process, specifically addressing Netanyahu's role in hindering it. Additionally, Schumer proposed holding new elections in Israel once the conflict deescalates.

During an interview with CNN, the Israeli prime minister expressed his strong disapproval of the comments made by the top US legislator, deeming them as "totally inappropriate." 

During a recent interview, Biden made it clear that he currently has no plans to use US aid and weapon transfers as a way to pressure Israel into ending its mistreatment of Palestinians. 

Advocates for Palestinian rights have been consistently highlighting the fact that merely criticizing Netanyahu will not suffice to put an end to the ongoing conflict. They are calling for Washington to place conditions on aid to Israel. 

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