Israel Took into Account Our Concerns over Rafah: US

Wed May 22 2024
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WASHINGTON, United States: Israel has taken U.S. concerns into account as it conducts military operations in the refugee-crowded Gaza city of Rafah, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

“It is fair to say that I think the Israelis have updated their plans. They have included many of the concerns that we have expressed,” the official told reporters.

“This is an ongoing discussion, an ongoing conversation. It’s been constructive,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The person was referring to talks that US national security adviser Jake Sullivan held in Israel last weekend with senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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“What’s important is what actually happens,” the official said. “We don’t greenlight Israeli operations. That’s not our role.”

President Joe Biden has said publicly that he does not want Israel to lead a major ground offensive in Rafah, which is in the southern Gaza Strip and is full of Palestinians displaced by the war between Israel and Hamas.

Israel launched its ground assault on parts of Rafah earlier this month, defying international opposition, including top ally Washington, which feared more than a million civilians were trapped.

Israel ordered a mass evacuation from Rafah, where it pledged to destroy Hamas and its tunnel system and rescue the remaining hostages.

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