White House outlines reason it’s opposed to Rafah operation

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

Palestinian break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan outside their destroyed home in Rafah, Gaza Strip, March 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)
Palestinian break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan outside their destroyed home in Rafah, Gaza Strip, March 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan lays out the three reasons why President Joe Biden is “deeply concerned” about a massive Israeli offensive in Rafah akin to the ones carried out thus far in other major Gaza cities.

Sullivan notes that over one million people are sheltering in Rafah after fleeing repeatedly from other cities in Gaza.

“They have nowhere else to go. Gaza’s other major cities have largely been destroyed, and Israel has not presented us or the world with a plan for how or where they would safely move those civilians, let alone feed and house them and ensure access to basic things like sanitation,” Sullivan says during a press briefing.

The border city of Rafah is also the primary entry point for humanitarian assistance to Gaza from Egypt and Israel, Sullivan points out, lamenting that it would be shut down or severely hampered “at the moment when it is most sorely needed” if an IDF offensive moved forward.

“Third, Rafah is on the border with Egypt, which has voiced its deep alarm over a major military operation there and has even raised questions about its future relationship with Israel as a result of any impending military operation,” the US national security adviser says.

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