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President Biden postponed planned military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling the Israeli leader “without a credible and enforceable plan to ensure security.” There should be no military action in Rafah” and support for the more than one million people who have taken refuge there. “
A senior government official said in a conference call with producers that 1.3 million people in Rafah currently face dire humanitarian needs and have nowhere to go. They sought refuge there after fleeing fighting in other parts of Gaza.
This is the first time Biden has publicly warned Israel against planned actions in Rafah.Other government officials said Israel had an obligation to keep civilians safe, as did U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield. Tell NPRunder the current circumstances, Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah “cannot be carried out.”
Israel plans to step up military operations in Rafah and expand its strikes against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in response to an attack on Israel last October that killed 1,400 people. In response, Israel has killed nearly 30,000 Palestinians. In addition, Israel estimates that 103 hostages are still being held alive in Gaza. Last week, Biden called Israel’s response in Gaza “over the peak”.
Israeli officials have told their American couple “they will not consider surgery,” the official said [in Rafah] But they couldn’t get the civilians to leave there. “
“The president and the prime minister had a detailed exchange on this and had a good exchange,” the official said.
The senior administration official said much of the 45-minute call between Biden and Netanyahu was spent discussing the need to move forward on a potential hostage deal that would see Hamas release remaining hostages, In exchange for a continued pause in combat.
Negotiators from Israel, Egypt, Qatar and the United States are working on a proposal that would halt hostilities in exchange for the release of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas in October attacks.
The official said that while the framework proposals are “basically… in place… there are definitely gaps that need to be closed. Some of them are big.” But the official said “real progress” has been made on that front. The past few weeks.
Netanyahu’s remarks came days after reject ceasefire plan Hamas has called its proposed deal to end the war in Gaza “delusional” because it would have allowed Hamas to remain in charge of the Gaza Strip after the end of a phased truce.