US Plays Down Rafah Assault, Says It Will Push For Gaza Ceasefire Deal

THE United States has played down the deadly Israeli assault on Rafah, saying the offensive appears to be “limited” despite concerns over the fate of the more than 1.5 million Palestinians sheltering in the southern Gaza city.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters on Tuesday that the US still opposes a major Israeli offensive against Rafah.

Israel had stepped up its bombardment of Rafah on Monday, killing dozens of people after ordering about 100,000 residents in its eastern areas to evacuate. Israeli troops also stormed the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, which serves as a major gateway for humanitarian aid.

“This military operation that they launched last night was targeted just to Rafah gate,” Miller said on Tuesday.

“It wasn’t an operation in the civilian areas that they had ordered to be evacuated. So we will continue to make clear that we oppose a major military operation in Rafah.”

Still, Miller acknowledged that the attack on the crossing “does look like the prelude” to a larger offensive.

The Israeli attack closed the Rafah crossing, further straining the already inadequate flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Since October 9, Israel has intensified its existing blockade on the territory, bringing the Palestinian enclave to the verge of famine.

The Rafah crossing also serves as an entry point for humanitarian workers going into Gaza, and critically sick and injured people use it to leave the territory and receive treatment abroad.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said 120 patients who were set to cross from Gaza to Egypt for treatment were prevented from leaving on Tuesday.

Shutting down the crossing also has blocked medical supplies and fuel needed to operate the remaining medical centres in the territory, the ministry said.

“The situation of patients in Gaza hospitals has been very difficult since the beginning of the war due to the loss of medical equipment and the total collapse of the health system,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We have travel lists for sick and injured people in the thousands. And now they are prevented from leaving.”

Previous articlePrince Harry In UK But Will Not Meet Father King Charles III
Next articleEnd Of An Era As Mbappe Suffers Final Paris St-Germain Failure


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here