May 19, 2024
Expected Meeting Between US and Israeli Officials Regarding Rafah Offensive

Expected Meeting Between US and Israeli Officials Regarding Rafah Offensive

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Expected Meeting Between US and Israeli Officials Regarding Rafah Offensive

Washington : Next week, there’s anticipation for a face-to-face meeting between US government representatives and Israeli leadership to discuss Israel’s proposed ground offensive in Rafah, Gaza Strip. John Kirby, the National Security Council communications director, mentioned that while a meeting was initially slated for this week, it’s now likely to occur “sometime in the coming week.” The finalization of the meeting date is still in progress.

The US government, expressing concerns, believes that a large-scale ground offensive in Rafah could pose risks due to the significant presence of Palestinian civilians seeking refuge from the conflict. They’re keen on presenting Israel with alternative strategies. Interestingly, an Israeli delegation’s trip to Washington in March got canceled abruptly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amidst escalating tensions between Israel and the USA.

In a recent development, last Monday saw both parties engage in initial discussions on Rafah via video conference, pledging to follow up with an in-person meeting. Kirby emphasized the importance of this impending dialogue, stating, “The Israelis have assured us that there will be no operations in and around Rafah until we have had the opportunity to speak with them in more detail about viable options and alternatives to a major ground offensive.”

Expected Meeting Between US and Israeli Officials Regarding Rafah Offensive

Expected Meeting Between US and Israeli Officials Regarding Rafah Offensive
Expected Meeting Between US and Israeli Officials Regarding Rafah Offensive (File Photo)

On the ground, the Israeli army surprisingly withdrew from Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip last Sunday. While the reasons behind this move remain unclear, speculation arises whether it’s linked to ceasefire discussions in Cairo or preparations for a potential offensive in Rafah.

Contrary to expectations, Kirby mentioned no immediate signs of an impending Rafah offensive or troop redeployment from Khan Yunis for such a campaign. Instead, the Israeli side emphasized the need for the Khan Yunis units, engaged in continuous combat for four months, to undergo a recovery phase.

Despite the significant financial and military support provided by the US to Israel, tensions persist due to Israel’s military operations in Gaza and the alarming civilian casualties. This context underscores the gravity of the forthcoming discussions between the two allies.


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