US Secretary of State State Blinken dials Israel’s Defense Minister, reaffirms opposition to Rafah operation

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday reaffirmed America’s opposition to Israeli plans of holding a major military operation in Rafah city of Gaza with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and underscored the urgent need to protect civilians amid war. This comes as Blinken held a telephonic conversation with the Israeli Minister as Israel vowed to hold the Rafah operation at any cost.

“Secretary of State Antony J Blinken spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant today. The Secretary affirmed the ironclad US commitment to Israel’s security and the shared objective of the defeat of Hamas. They discussed the situation in Gaza and ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages. The Secretary reaffirmed the US opposition to a major military ground operation in Rafah, where over one million people have taken shelter,” US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller said in a statement.

“The Secretary underscored the urgent need to protect civilians and aid workers in Gaza and urged the Minister to ensure assistance can move into Gaza and help address distribution challenges inside of Gaza as Israel pursues Hamas targets,” he added. As the Rafah invasion continues to grow more intense, there are more developments taking place in ongoing operations in the area, with Israeli military tanks going deeper into the Jabalia refugee camp, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday.

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They, Israeli tanks, notably crossed Salah al-Din Street into the camp on early Sunday morning as the battle rages between Hamas terrorists and Israeli forces. During the earlier military incursion in the refugee camp, the residents had been moved to different places, and now, they are bound to leave again amid the ongoing offensive in Gaza. Numerous Palestinians have been compelled to evacuate various parts of Gaza, such as Jabalia, Beit Lahiya, and Rafah. Initial responders from the Palestinian Civil Defence claimed they were unable to attend to numerous requests for assistance coming from both regions and Rafah, according to Al Jazeera.

People in eastern Rafah were told to evacuate last week by Israel and head west to the packed tent camp known as the “humanitarian zone” of al-Mawasi. Meanwhile, Israel, over the past seven months, has time and again issued evacuation orders for Palestinians in the strip including critically ill patients from hospitals, often with unclear instructions. All residents of Gaza City and the north were given a 24-hour notice to leave to the area south of Wadi Gaza by the Israeli army on October 13 last year.