Top US general said to lay out Washington’s proposed alternative to Rafah offensive — report

A top US general laid out Washington’s proposal for an alternative to a ground IDF offensive sought by Israel in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah during a recent conversation with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Israel’s public broadcaster Kan reports tonight.

According to the report, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, conveyed that the US would not “accept” mass civilian casualties in Rafah, given the toll of civilian deaths in north and central Gaza.

The report says Brown summed up Washington’s proposal which includes securing Gaza’s border with Egypt with technological advances to prevent the smuggling of weapons through the Philadelphi Corridor, the isolation of the city of Rafah and the launch of targeted raids, and the establishment of a joint control room to coordinate on the targeted operations.

The conversation occurred last week during a visit to Washington by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Kan reports.

Israel is intent on operating in Rafah, Hamas’s last stronghold in Gaza, to dismantle its last four battalions in the city. Washington and much of the Western world have signaled their opposition to the plan, amid mounting concern for over a million Gazans who have taken refuge in the city from fighting in other areas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Biden administration have been locked in a growing public spat over the potential ground operation in Rafah.

Last week, a plan to send a senior Israeli delegation to Washington to discuss a Rafah offensive was scrapped by Netanyahu after the US abstained from a UN Security Council vote on a resolution calling for a Gaza ceasefire, ensuring it would pass.

A US official then said the sides were working on a new date for the inter-agency meeting.

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