Report: Dermer ‘yelled’ at US officials during meeting on Rafah op

File - Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer walks into the Executive Office Building next to the White House in Washington, DC on December 26, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)
File - Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer walks into the Executive Office Building next to the White House in Washington, DC on December 26, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)

Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer became angry and “yelled” at senior US officials during an online meeting earlier this week to discuss Israel’s plans for a military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, NBC reports.

The report, citing two US officials and one former US official familiar with the meeting. says that after being told that Israel’s plans for the evacuation of some 1.4 million people sheltering in the city were unrealistic, Dermer “began yelling and waving his arms around as he defended the plan.”

The report says US officials in the meeting, including US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, remained calm during the incident.

However, the report also quotes the US officials as saying that “it’s long been routine for Dermer to become animated during meetings with US officials and described the meeting as no more contentious than other recent conversations between the two governments.”

An Israeli official who attended the meeting told NBC their description was wrong and “a misrepresentation of what occurred in the room. The meeting was constructive and respectful, even during disagreements. There was no yelling at any point.”

Israeli reports have previously painted the meeting as “difficult,” stating that it showed the US and Israel are on “completely different pages” when it comes to Israel’s planned operation in Rafah where Jerusalem says four Hamas battalions remain.

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