‘We Haven’t Seen Such a Plan’ – US Warns against Israel’s Invasion of Rafah

Displaced Palestinians in Rafah. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The US has said it is “our judgment” that Israel “cannot, should not” go into Rafah without a humanitarian plan, a plan it is yet to see.

Israel has not yet presented a humanitarian or military plan for its planned invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, the US State Department said on Monday.

“We have said what we need to see to be able to support a Rafah operation. That is a credible and implementable humanitarian assistance plan,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters.

He stated, “The Government of Israel has said that they will implement a humanitarian assistance plan.”

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“We haven’t seen such a plan yet,” Miller said.

The spokesperson said it was “our judgment that they cannot, should not go into Rafah without a humanitarian assistance plan that is credible and that they can actually implement,” adding “Let’s wait and see what it is they come up with.”

‘Red Line’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday vowed to press ahead with an invasion of Rafah, despite US President Joe Biden’s warning that such action would cross “a red line.”

“We’ll go there. We’re not going to leave. You know, I have a red line. You know what the red line is, that October 7 doesn’t happen again. Never happens again,” Netanyahu told the Politico news site.

Miller also said he could not “make any forecasts” on the question of a possible ceasefire during Ramadan.

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“We continue to believe that an agreement to achieve a ceasefire and secure the release of hostages is important. We’re continuing to work on it … but I won’t offer any kind of assessment,” he stated.

More than 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah, many of whom were displaced from other areas in the besieged enclave.

World leaders and human rights groups have repeatedly warned against a catastrophic ground offensive in the overcrowded city.

The Palestine Chronicle spoke to displaced Palestinians who are currently sheltered in makeshift refugee camps in the southern city.

“Every day, we hear statements from occupation leaders about the imminent invasion of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip,” Khader Al-Auja told us.

“Moreover, the occupation links the invasion of Rafah to the completion of the invasion of Khan Yunis city. These statements create fear and terror for more than 1.5 million Palestinians who have been displaced to the tents of Rafah over 80 days ago,” he added.

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Over 31,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 31,112 Palestinians have been killed, and 72,760 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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