By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“We’re not going to lay out terms. It’s a sovereign country. And they have their own military, and they have their own operations to conduct”.

Despite repeatedly urging Israel not to invade Rafah without a plan to protect civilians, the White House has said it will not tell Tel Aviv how to conduct a military invasion of the southern Gaza town where an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge.

“We’re not going to lay out terms. It’s a sovereign country. And they have their own military, and they have their own operations to conduct. They have to make those decisions,” John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesperson told a press briefing on Friday.

Previously, the US had requested “a credible and implementable humanitarian assistance plan,” from Israel ahead of its planned ground invasion.

‘We Haven’t Seen Such a Plan’ – US Warns against Israel’s Invasion of Rafah

State Department Spokesperson Mathew Miller told reporters on March 11 that it was “our judgment that they cannot, should not go into Rafah without a humanitarian assistance plan that is credible and that they can actually implement,” adding “Let’s wait and see what it is they come up with.”


An Israeli delegation is set to visit the White House early next week.

Kirby said on Friday that US officials will use the opportunity to present Israel with “alternatives.”

“We want to present to the Israelis some viable alternatives and options about how they could go after the legitimate threat of Hamas there in Rafah, without sacrificing the safety and security of those people at stake,” he told reporters.

@ramzybaroudofficial Biden does not want Israel to invade Rafah before having a plan to evacuate the civilians. Others are against the invasion period. But in the meantime, thousands are being killed and wounded in other parts of Gaza, without much protest from Washington and its allies. What is the story here? #gazagenocide #gazaunderattack❤🇵🇸 #rafahinvasion #palestine #joebiden #unitedstates #middleeast ♬ The Champion – Lux-Inspira

“Now, do they have to listen to our advice and counsel? No. But we have seen in the past where they have taken some of it on board. We hope they take this on board,” Kirby added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains determined to press ahead with a Rafah invasion despite international condemnation including from the United Nations, the European Union as well as the International Criminal Court.

‘We Will Do It Alone’

Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a meeting in Tel Aviv on Friday that the only way to defeat Hamas was through a military assault on Rafah, reported the Anadolu news agency.

Netanyahu said he also underlined that Israel would welcome US support for its operation in Rafah, but that “if we have to, we will do it alone,” the report added.

‘In the Name of Humanity’ – WHO Chief Warns Israel on Rafah Invasion

US President Joe Biden has said that an Israeli invasion of Rafah would cross a “red line.”

However, reported Anadolu, Biden’s senior officials were quick to backtrack on those remarks, saying the president did not set any “red lines” for Israel as it carries out its offensive.

Roughly 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah, many of whom were displaced from other areas destroyed by Israel in its ongoing military assault on the besieged enclave.

Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, issued a warning to Israel last week that “Further escalation of violence in this densely populated area would lead to many more deaths and suffering, especially with health facilities already overwhelmed.”

More than 32,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 32,070 Palestinians have been killed, and 74,298 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

‘We Will Not Leave’ – Palestinians in Rafah Ask the World to Stop Israel’s Invasion

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(PC, Anadolu)

The post ‘We’re Not Going to Lay Out Terms’ – White House on Israel’s Planned Rafah Invasion appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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