US military still has concerns about potential Rafah operation: Pentagon

The US military still has concerns about a potential Israeli ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

Speaking at a press briefing, spokesman Pat Ryder recalled a meeting between US and Israeli officials in which he said the two countries agreed on a "shared objective" to defeat Hamas and shared their thinking on Rafah.

"We've shared ours, but in terms of what their plan looks like. We still have some concerns in terms of the various courses of actions. And so we'll continue to discuss those concerns related to how they're going to take into account civilian safety and humanitarian assistance," said Ryder.

He said there is no indications at this point that any type of major ground operation has begun.

"And so, again, those conversations will continue to be very important, and it will also continue to be something that we feel is essential, that before any type of operation that they're taking civilian safety and humanitarian considerations," said Ryder.

Despite international warnings about a planned Israeli invasion of Rafah, the Israeli army insists on going ahead in attacking the tiny city, which is home to nearly 1.4 million displaced Palestinians.

Last week, an Israeli government spokesperson said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set a date for invading Rafah.

Rafah is the last remaining area in the enclave where Israel has not yet formally announced the entry of its troops to continue the onslaught against Palestinians.

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