Wed 22 May 2024 5:24 pm - Jerusalem Time

Biden backs down from opposing Israel's invasion of Rafah

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who is close to the White House, reported that Israeli officials agreed last Monday to a “limited” operation in the besieged city of Rafah in southern Gaza on the condition that US President Joe Biden does not oppose it, and that the ongoing military operation is the operation that was approved. It has to be a Biden administration.

Ignatius said that Israeli officials had reached a “consensus” on the “final attack” against four Hamas brigades that Israel believes are still present in Rafah.

“Instead of the aggressive two-division attack that Israel considered several weeks ago, government and military leaders expect a limited attack that US officials believe will result in fewer civilian casualties, and for that reason, Biden will not oppose,” Ignatius wrote.

Despite issuing a warning to Israel about its plans for Rafah, Biden did not impose any consequences as the Israeli army continued to escalate its attack on the city, supporting Israel's seizure of the Rafah border crossing, halting aid distribution in the city.

American officials claimed that they opposed the Israeli attack on the city without a clear plan to evacuate the 1.4 million civilians who were sheltering there. But Israel never submitted a plan to the United States, and went ahead with the invasion anyway. Now, more than 800,000 civilians have fled Rafah without a clear safe place or basic necessities, such as water, food, treatment or accommodation.

Israel made clear to the United States that it would continue the escalation in Rafah. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant told US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Monday that Israel is "committed to expanding the ground operation in Rafah until the end of the dismantling of Hamas and the recovery of the hostages."

The Israeli occupation army expanded its military operation to invade the city of Rafah, and transferred more of its forces to the city, where the “Hanahal” brigade entered the city last night, bringing the number of brigades there to five, namely “Hanahal”, “Givati”, 401, 12, and Commando, according to Army Radio. Occupation on Wednesday.

According to Israeli Army Radio, there are currently ten brigades in the Gaza Strip, 5 of which are in Rafah, 3 in Jabalia, and two brigades in the center of the Strip. This is the largest deployment of the Israeli army in the Strip in 4 months.

For his part, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Tuesday reiterated the Biden administration's absolute support for Israel and at the same time stressed its focus on alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Blinken said at a hearing before the Appropriations Committee in the US Congress: “In the Middle East, we stand with Israel in its efforts to ensure that what happened last October 7 does not happen again, and we are doing everything in our power to put an end to the terrible human suffering in Gaza and prevent... The scope of the conflict expands.

In Congress (Tuesday), Secretary of State Blinken faced criticism from the right and left regarding policy towards Israel, as Republicans accused President Joe Biden's administration of failing Israel, while Democrats said it was not doing enough to help civilians in Gaza.

Angry protesters interrupted Blinken when he began his testimony before the Democratic-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Chants chanted, "His hands are stained with blood," and Blinken retreated from a female protester who approached behind him, waving a sign reading "Criminal," before security personnel removed her from the hall.


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Biden backs down from opposing Israel's invasion of Rafah