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Speculation Mounts on Timing of Potential Rafah Invasion

Gaza Aid Distribution Struggles amid Overcrowding (Credits: Asharq Al-Awsat)

The White House has expressed deep concern over the potential consequences of a significant military operation in Rafah, Gaza, which is currently sheltering over one million displaced Palestinian civilians. Despite repeated warnings from the United States, Israel has approved plans for a ground offensive in the area, sparking fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday that the administration has yet to see a comprehensive plan from Israel outlining their strategy for the Rafah operations.

“We have been clear about our concerns regarding any major military operations into Rafah,” Jean-Pierre said. “There are over one million Palestinian civilians seeking refuge in Rafah, and we want to ensure their lives are protected.”

Karine Jean-Pierre (Credits: NBC News)

Israel has informed aid groups and the administration of a plan to relocate people from Rafah to al-Mawasi on the southern coast of the territory. However, Jean-Pierre emphasized that talks are ongoing, and no solid plan has been presented. “We want to continue having conversations with the Israeli government to ensure the safety of these civilians,” she said.

Reuters reported that Israel had provided Washington with some preliminary information, but officials have not seen a complete plan. A U.S. official described the proposal as outlining the provision of shelter, food, and evacuation routes but said it “needs more work.”

The United Nations humanitarian aid agency has also sounded the alarm, warning that hundreds of thousands of people would be “at imminent risk of death” if the Israeli military moves forward with its assault in Rafah.

United Nations (Credits: Punch Newspapers)

“It could be a slaughter of civilians and an incredible blow to the humanitarian operation in the entire strip, as it is run primarily out of Rafah,” Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the U.N. humanitarian office, said at a Geneva press briefing.

The situation in Rafah is dire, with over one million displaced civilians seeking refuge in the city after months of Israeli airstrikes and shelling. The potential consequences of a major military operation in the area are catastrophic, and the international community is urging Israel to exercise restraint and prioritize the protection of civilian lives.

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