Blinken Doubts Israeli Attack on Rafah Ahead of US-Israel Talks

Tue Apr 09 2024
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WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday he doubted Israel would attack Rafah ahead of new talks next week in Washington, which has raised concerns over an Israeli assault on the densely populated Gaza city.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement on Monday of a scheduled ground offensive in Rafah had raised alarm, particularly given the presence of 1.5 million Palestinians seeking refuge in the city.

Blinken, however, revealed that Israel had not communicated a specific date for such an attack to the United States. He stated that an Israeli delegation is expected to visit Washington next week to address US concerns.

“I don’t anticipate any actions being taken before those talks; for that matter, I don’t see anything imminent,” Blinken remarked during a joint news conference with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

Emphasizing the dangers posed to civilians in Rafah, Blinken reiterated the US stance against major military operations in the area. He stressed that such actions would place innocent civilians at grave risk and called on Israel to consider the humanitarian implications.

The United States intends to use the upcoming talks to advocate for the protection of civilians and to underscore the potential devastation of significant military operations in Rafah. Blinken affirmed the US commitment to promoting peace and stability in the region while prioritizing the safety and well-being of all those affected by the conflict.

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