Report: Top Biden official denies US conditioning intel about Hamas leaders on Israel forgoing Rafah op

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer speaks during a joint statement with Colombia's President-elect Gustavo Petro, in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, July 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)
US Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer speaks during a joint statement with Colombia's President-elect Gustavo Petro, in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, July 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

Deputy US National Security Adviser Jon Finer denies a Washington Post report claiming that the Biden administration has told Israel it will provide it with intelligence to help locate Hamas’s Gaza leadership if Jerusalem agrees to scuttle plans for a mass-invasion of Rafah, JTA reports.

“It’s not true,” Finer told a group of Jewish community leaders in a meeting earlier today, according to JTA, which cites several sources from the meeting.

Days before the report, White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the US has been helping Israel target Hamas’s leaders “on an ongoing basis,” making no indication that this assistance was conditioned.

A White House official also denies the Washington Post report, telling The Times of Israel that “Helping Israel target the leaders of Hamas and providing any information we have as to their whereabouts is a top priority for us, and not a quid pro quo. None of this is dependent on operational decisions Israel makes. ”

“The United States is working with Israel day and night to hunt the senior leaders of Hamas, who were the authors of the brutal terrorist assault of October 7,” the official continues. “We are providing unprecedented support – in ways that only the United States can – to help Israel bring them to justice. And we will continue to work relentlessly toward this objective in the period ahead.”

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