NewsBlinken warns against Rafah assault over civilian harm concerns

Blinken warns against Rafah assault over civilian harm concerns

Blinken: Israeli attack on Rafah will cause "unacceptable" damage.
Blinken: Israeli attack on Rafah will cause "unacceptable" damage.
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5:17 AM EDT, May 4, 2024
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has voiced his concerns over a possible Israeli attack on Rafah, a city that is home to over a million Palestinian refugees. Blinken highlighted the potential for "unacceptable" damage from such an operation.

At the forefront of U.S. diplomatic efforts, Blinken emphasized that Israel has yet to outline a strategy for safeguarding civilians should the attack proceed. "Without a plan to protect the civilian population, we cannot endorse a large-scale military campaign in Rafah. The expected damage would be intolerable," Blinken stated. Last Friday, he shared these thoughts at the McCain Institute forum in Sedona, Arizona.

Israel has identified Rafah as a key target in its mission to dismantle Hamas. Situated in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, bordering Egypt, Rafah has offered sanctuary to an influx of refugees displaced by military operations elsewhere in the region. These individuals, enduring harsh conditions and facing the threat of starvation, anxiously await the outcome.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Tuesday, reaffirmed that the aims of the war against Hamas have not shifted, declaring an attack on Rafah, situated along the border, as unavoidable. Netanyahu claimed that efforts to relocate civilians from the area are underway. Contrary to this, Philippe Lazzarini, who leads the UN agency UNRWA, has refuted such statements, as "Newsweek" magazine's website has reported.
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