US yet to see Israel’s plan for entering Rafah

United States has reiterated its stance regarding the situation in Rafah, emphasising the need for a credible plan from Israel…reports Asian Lite News

The United States has not seen Israel’s “credible plan” to enter Rafah that is set to address the “varying areas of concerns”, said a US State Department official on Tuesday.

As tensions persist in the ongoing conflict, the United States has reiterated its stance regarding the situation in Rafah, emphasising the need for a credible plan from Israel before any potential military operation.

Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the Department of State, Vedant Patel reaffirmed this position, stating, “That is correct, it continues to be the case that we have not seen a credible plan that would address the varying areas of concerns.”

Rafah, a region with over 1 million displaced individuals, remains a critical area for humanitarian aid distribution and a safe passage for foreign nationals. Patel underscored the significance of addressing the serious humanitarian concerns surrounding Rafah, highlighting the necessity for any operation to prioritise the well-being of the population in the region.

“Primarily the ability to address the serious humanitarian concerns surrounding again, Rafah is a region with more than 1 million people seeking refuge. It’s an area that continues to be an important conduit for humanitarian aid, as well as safe departure for foreign nationals,” he said.

While refraining from speculation on potential scenarios, Patel noted the ongoing engagement with Israeli counterparts to seek clarity on their plans concerning Rafah.

“So any kind of operation that does not address some of these key concerns would certainly be opposed by us,” he also said.

He stressed that any operation lacking measures to address humanitarian needs and ensure the safe departure of civilians would face opposition from the United States.

“I’m not going to get into any hypotheticals, but this is something we’re continuing to engage with our partners in Israel. Conversations continue to be happening at all levels, and we’ll continue to press forward on those conversations and ask what their plans may or may not be as it pertains to Rafah,” Patel added.

Patel’s remarks come the same day Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his military plans to enter Rafah city of Gaza and said that his military will undertake the operations regardless of a breakthrough in truce talks with Hamas.

“The idea that we will stop the war before achieving all its aims is not an option,” Netanyahu told the hawkish Gvura and Tikva forums, who represent families of slain soldiers and families of hostages held in Gaza, respectively, The Times of Israel reported.

“We will enter Rafah and we will eliminate the Hamas battalions there — whether or not there is a deal — in order to achieve total victory,” Netanyahu added.

According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, the groups urged Netanyahu and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi to continue the war and to resist international pressures, The Times of Israel reported.

Netanyahu has faced pressure from his nationalist governing partners not to proceed with a deal that might prevent Israel from invading Rafah, which it says is Hamas’ last major stronghold. His government could be threatened if he agrees to a deal because hard-line Cabinet members have demanded an attack on Rafah.

But with more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people sheltering there, the international community, including Israel’ top ally the US, has warned Israel against any offensive that puts civilians at risk.

It was not clear if Netanyahu’s comments were meant to appease his governing partners or whether they would have any bearing on any emerging deal with Hamas.

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