Blinken tells Prime Minister Netanyahu of Washington’s opposition to large-scale military operation in Rafah

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. government currently opposes Israel’s large-scale military operation in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. “We reject any agreement with Hamas that allows us to do so.” ”

Hebrew media reported on Wednesday that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US “currently” opposes “extensive” Israeli military operations in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. It was reported that.

On Tuesday night, Blinken began his visit to Tel Aviv from Jordan and Saudi Arabia, his seventh trip to the region since Israel’s war broke out in Gaza on Oct. 7, 2023.

Israel Broadcasting Authority (official) reported that the US Secretary of State said in a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, “The United States currently opposes Israeli military operations in Rafah, on the Egyptian border.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu has claimed that Rafah is “the last stronghold of the Hamas movement,” despite international warnings about the potentially devastating impact, given the presence of around 1.4 million displaced people. They advocate an invasion of Rafah.

Israel’s Walla news website also quoted an unnamed American official saying, “Prime Minister Blinken told Prime Minister Netanyahu that the US remains opposed to Israeli military operations in Rafah without a credible plan to protect civilians.” “He said he was doing it.”

“Mr. Blinken also expressed the belief that there are better options than a large-scale military operation to deal with the Hamas brigades in the city.”

Commenting on the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory, which has been under siege for the past 18 years, Blinken said, “The delivery of aid to Gaza has improved, but Israel needs to do more.”

As a result of the war and Israeli restrictions that violate international law, the Gaza Strip, particularly Gaza and the northern governorates, are suffering from famine, leading to severe shortages of food, water and medicine, and costing Palestinian lives. .

In return, Prime Minister Netanyahu told Blinken, “I will not accept a hostage exchange agreement (with Hamas) that ends the war,” the broadcaster said.

Israeli and US officials told the website Walla that Netanyahu had threatened that “if Hamas does not abandon its demands for an end to the war, there will be no deal and Rafah will be invaded.”

Hamas demands an end to the war, the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from the Gaza Strip, freedom for displaced persons to return to the area, and full humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, within the framework of a prisoner exchange and ceasefire agreement. .

During his visit, Blinken met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Yair Lapid and representatives of families of Israeli prisoners of war in the Gaza Strip, with further talks scheduled on Wednesday.

According to Palestinian and UN data, Israel’s war in Gaza has resulted in more than 112,000 martyrs and injured people, most of them children and women, and about 10,000 martyrs and wounded people amid starvation and mass destruction. A person is missing.

Despite the issuance of an immediate cessation of hostilities resolution by the United Nations Security Council, and despite the International Court of Justice calling for immediate measures to prevent acts of genocide and improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Israel continues the war.

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