Tue 28 May 2024 11:50 am - Jerusalem Time

Axios: The Rafah incident may increase pressure on Biden to change his policy in Gaza

Axios revealed that the administration of US President Joe Biden is still evaluating whether the Israeli bombing of a camp for displaced people in Rafah represents a violation of the “red line” it had drawn, which is likely to increase pressure on the US president to change his policy towards the war in Gaza.

The Israeli occupation forces committed a massacre in a camp for displaced people in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, which led to the death of at least 45 people, most of them women and children, and the injury of dozens of others, amid strong Arab and international condemnations.

Axios reported that this American assessment came after Washington gave the Israelis the green light to carry out a limited military operation in Rafah that responds to American warnings regarding the safety of civilians and prior review of the operation’s plans.

An American official said that the Rafah incident is likely to increase political pressure on Biden to change his policy toward the war in Gaza.

Yesterday, Monday, Israeli Military Prosecutor Yifat Tomer Yerushalmi announced that the bombing was “extremely dangerous,” noting that an investigation was being conducted to find out the details of the incident.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also considered the operation a "catastrophic mistake."

Washington's concerns

Earlier this month, Biden threatened to suspend the delivery of some American-made offensive weapons if Israel stormed population centers in Rafah.

The Axios website said that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, during his recent visit to Israel (on May 19), held discussions with senior Israeli officials about the military operation in Rafah, explaining that those talks included a detailed briefing from Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant and the Chief of Staff. Herzi Halevy.

A senior US official said that Sullivan felt that many of the Biden administration's concerns had been addressed in Israel's updated plans for Rafah, and that it was possible to see how an operation could be carried out without crossing the "red lines" set by Biden.

According to three American officials, White House officials felt that they were able to significantly influence Israeli operational plans in Rafah in a way that would prevent mass civilian casualties.

This assessment led the United States to soften its opposition to the Israeli army expanding its operations in Rafah, including the air strike the day before Sunday.

Source: Axios


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Axios: The Rafah incident may increase pressure on Biden to change his policy in Gaza