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Stormy Weather Forces Temporary Halt in Gaza Pier Construction, Pentagon Announces

Images show US military building floating pier off Gaza (Credits: CNN)

The White House has expressed deep concern and urgency over the potentially devastating consequences of a major military operation in Rafah, Gaza, which is currently sheltering over one million displaced Palestinian civilians.

Despite repeated warnings and pleas from the United States and the international community, Israel has approved plans for a ground offensive in the area, sparking fears of a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized the administration’s concerns on Friday, stating that they have yet to receive a comprehensive plan from Israel outlining their strategy for the Rafah operations.

US military pier for Gaza to shift construction because of weather (Credits: Reuters)

“We have been clear and direct 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 and prioritized.”

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 open and honest conversations with the Israeli government to ensure the safety and well-being of these innocent civilians,” she said.

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

US-Built Gaza Aid Pier (Credits: Asharq Al-Awsat)

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.

“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. “We urge all parties to exercise restraint and prioritize protecting civilian lives.”

The situation in Rafah is dire and precarious, 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 far-reaching, and the international community is urging Israel to exercise restraint and prioritize the protection of civilian lives. The world is watching with bated breath, hoping for a peaceful resolution to this crisis.

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