US Urges Israel to Limit Offensive in Rafah

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.22 - 2024 8:27 AM CET

Photo: Anas-Mohammed /
Photo: Anas-Mohammed /
The US has urged Israel to limit its offensive in Rafah.

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For months, the United States has warned Israel against a large-scale ground offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza.

According to US government sources, Israel has now taken into account many of the US concerns and adjusted its attack plans.

As the Times of Israel reports, Israel has abandoned its original plans to send two divisions to the city and will instead operate on a more limited scale.

Israeli Plans Adjusted

The AP and AFP news agencies quoted a US government official who described the adjustments as the result of constructive discussions between the US and Israel, according to the Tagesschau.

These discussions were led by White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and included meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

US President Joe Biden has publicly spoken out against a major ground offensive in Rafah to ensure the safety of Palestinian civilians.

Humanitarian Crisis in Rafah Worsens

Despite international warnings, the Israeli army has been carrying out targeted ground operations and air strikes in Rafah since the beginning of May to destroy the last Hamas battalions.

As a result of the fighting, more than a million civilians have fled to Rafah, where approximately 300,000 to 400,000 people are currently staying.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinian Territories (UNRWA) has temporarily stopped food distribution due to supply shortages and the security situation.

According to media reports, Egypt is withholding humanitarian aid because Israeli forces have taken control of the Palestinian part of the Rafah border crossing.

This has made the Kerem Shalom border crossing even more important for aid supplies, but Egypt has stopped all deliveries via this crossing point.

The Egyptian government does not want to appear as an accomplice of Israel and is demanding the withdrawal of Israeli troops before aid deliveries can resume.

Security Concerns in the Region

The situation in the region remains tense.

Egyptian officials have urged Israeli leaders for months not to press ahead with a ground offensive in Rafah, saying it would cause chaos close to Egypt's border and threaten the country's security.

Aid supplies are now piling up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, as Egypt has indicated it will not coordinate the movement of aid through Rafah until Israeli troops leave.

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