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Washington Says Netanyahu Promised No Invasion of Rafah Before More Discussion

Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit UN Photo/Cia Pak

April 9, 2024 (EIRNS)—With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claiming last night that the military invasion of Rafah will happen and that the date has been set, White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby stated yesterday morning at a press briefing: “The Israelis have assured us that there will be no operations in and around Rafah until we have had a chance to talk to them at greater length about the viable options and alternatives to a major ground operation.” He referred to expectations for a face-to-face meeting in Washington with Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi. Netanyahu had cancelled a previously scheduled session, and then allowed a virtual meeting to occur.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Israel had not provided the Biden administration with any dates for a Rafah operation. He added: “We have made clear to Israel that we think a full-scale military invasion of Rafah would have an enormously harmful effect on civilians and that it would ultimately hurt Israel’s security.”