Israel still has not told US date of Rafah operation: Blinken

Israel bombs targets in Gaza as Palestine group studies truce proposal

GAZA/WASHINGTON  -  Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Israel still has not told the US the date of their announced in­vasion of Rafah, but that he expects the Biden administration will see “Israeli colleagues again next week” for discussions on the issue. “The president’s been very clear about our concerns, our deep concerns about Israel’s ability to move civil­ians out of harm’s way, to care for them once they’re out of harm’s way and to have any kind of ma­jor military operation that doesn’t do real harm to civilians, to chil­dren, to women, to men,” Blinken said during a news conference at the State Department alongside UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron in Washington, DC. 

When it comes to the timing of a possible Rafah operation Blinken said he does not expect “any actions being taken” before the US talks with Israel on Rafah next week, adding: “I don’t see anything imminent.”

Blinken said the US is talking to Is­rael about “alternatives” to an incur­sion into the southern Gaza city that would be more effective at “solving a problem that needs to be solved, but doing it in a way that does not en­danger the innocent.”

Israel bombed targets in Gaza on Tuesday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted the army will destroy fighter group de­spite ongoing Cairo talks towards a ceasefire. More than six months into the war, Palestine group said it was “studying” a new proposal for a temporary truce, submitted during the talks with US, Qatari and Egyp­tian mediators.

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