Israel carried out air strikes in Rafah early Friday just hours after the U.S. warned Israel not to take its ground offensive to the southern Gaza city amid an already severe humanitarian crisis in the area.
More than half of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million people are currently sheltering in Rafah after fleeing their homes in other areas left uninhabitable by the conflict. Biden administration officials on Thursday expressed opposition to the stated aims of Israel bring its war machine to the crowded city.
“We have yet to see any evidence of serious planning for such an operation,” State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said, adding that to “conduct such an operation [in Rafah] right now with no planning and little thought in an area where there is sheltering of a million people would be a disaster.” He also pointed out that Rafah is a region which is “a key conduit for access of humanitarian aid,” and its border crossing is where foreign nationals are able to safely leave Gaza.
Source: The Daily Beast
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