Biden Urges Netanyahu to Ensure Civilian Safety Before Rafah Invasion

The US President reiterates concerns over civilian safety to the Israeli PM regarding a potential ground invasion in Rafah.

The White House reported that during a phone conversation on Thursday, US President Joe Biden reiterated to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the importance of ensuring the safety of civilians before proceeding with any Israeli ground invasion in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

“President Joseph R. Biden spoke today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel … The President also raised the situation in Rafah, and reiterated his view that a military operation should not proceed without a credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support for the civilians in Rafah,” the release read.

The negotiations for the release of the remaining captives held by the Palestinian Resistance were also discussed by Biden and Netanyahu. The release stated that Biden “reaffirmed his commitment to working tirelessly to support the release of all hostages as soon as possible.”

This comes only two days after a report by Politico cited three US officials as saying that the Biden administration does not intend to punish the Israeli occupation in the event of a ground invasion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah that neglects civilian safety, Politico reported, citing three US officials.

The officials also discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip and “the urgency of ensuring that humanitarian assistance is able to get to Palestinian civilians in desperate need,” the White House said.

According to the US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, “no reprimand plans are in the works, meaning Israeli forces could enter the city and harm civilians without facing American consequences.”

This comes at a time as a ground invasion of the city of Rafah looms, as Netanyahu told troops to prepare for an offensive in the southern city, which now hosts more than half of Gaza’s total population.

Foreign governments, including “Israel’s” key ally, the United States, and aid groups have voiced deep concern over Netanyahu’s plan.

A week prior, the United States administration addressed a letter to “Israel” requesting a pause in aggression on Rafah during the holy month of Ramadan, Israeli media reported. 

The political analyst of the Israeli channel Kan, Amichai Stein, stated that this “categorical American message shows their fear of “Israel’s” conduct in Rafah during Ramadan because not only would it escalate the situation in Gaza, but the entire region as well.

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