Updated February 12th, 2024 at 00:40 IST
Biden Tells Israel Not To Press Into Rafah Without Credible Plan As Egypt Threatens To Scrap Treaty
Operation into Rafah is necessary to win the four-month war against Hamas, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu said.
After holding talks with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden said that Israel shouldn’t press for a military operation in the densely populated Rafah without a “credible” plan.
Biden vouched for the protection of the civilians in the border town of Gaza amid warnings from Egypt that such a move on part of IDF would lead to suspension of the Camp David Accords, a cornerstone of regional stability for nearly a half-century between Israel and Egypt.
Netanyahu, in a televised interview, stated on Sunday that his troops will launch a military operation into Rafah as it is necessary to win the four-month war against Hamas. Israel’s Prime Minister argued that Hamas still has four battalions there and that it is the stronghold that not dismantling it would imply Israel losing the war.
Half of Gaza's 2.3 million population fled to Rafah to escape fighting in other regions in the north. As Netanyahu prepared to send the Israeli forms into the town bordering Egypt, two Egyptian officials and a Western diplomat told American broadcasters on condition of anonymity that Egyptian officials have been threatening to suspend its peace treaty with Israel. The fighting could also lead to a closure of the besieged territory's main aid supply route, the officials warned.
Response in Gaza ‘over the top’
Biden issued the harshest yet response against the Israeli campaign in Gaza, saying that the operation to go after Hamas has been “over the top” that was an exaggerated one leading to mounting civilian casualties in the four-month conflict. At a news conference in Washington, Biden said, “I’m of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza – in the Gaza Strip – has been over the top.” Biden then emphasised on his administration’s efforts to open up Gaza so more humanitarian aid could flow in.
American broadcasters report that a frustration has been brewing inside the White House at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for shrugging off calls by American officials to transition to a low intensity phase to the war and reduce civilian killings. “I’ve been pushing really hard – really hard – to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza. A lot of innocent people are starving. A lot innocent people in trouble and dying. And it’s got to stop,” Biden said.
Published February 12th, 2024 at 00:40 IST