Saturday, May 25, 2024

Israel amassed enough troops to launch incursion into Gaza’s Rafah: US

The US has assessed that Israel has amassed enough soldiers on the edge of the southern Gaza city of Rafah for a large-scale military offensive in the coming days, CNN has reported.

Two senior administration officials told CNN they are unsure whether Israel has made a final decision to carry out such a move in direct defiance of President Joe Biden.

According to CNN, one of the officials warned that Israel has not come anywhere close to making adequate preparations including building infrastructure related to food, hygiene and shelter ahead of potentially evacuating more than one million Palestinians in Rafah.

The White House has been expressing concern over an invasion of Rafah, where more than 1 million civilians from other parts of Gaza have been sheltering since last October’s attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Israel.

Recently, Biden stated in an interview with CNN that he would not supply offensive weapons that Israel could use to launch an all-out assault on Rafah.

Reacting to Biden’s threat to withhold weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed Tel Aviv would “stand alone” if it had to.

“If Israel has to stand alone, we will stand alone,” Netanyahu said in a statement, adding, “If we need to, we will fight with our fingernails. But we have much more than fingernails.”

Nearly 35,100 Palestinians have been killed and over 78,800 others injured in a brutal Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas that killed nearly 1,200 people.

The group demands an end to Israel’s ongoing military offensive on the Gaza Strip in return for any hostage swap with Tel Aviv.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

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