Israel ‘amasses enough troops’ for full-scale Rafah invasion : US

The Israeli army has amassed enough troops near Rafah to launch a wide-scale operation in the city, US officials said on 14 May.

“The Biden administration has assessed that Israel has amassed enough troops on the edge of the city of Rafah in Gaza to move forward with a full-scale incursion in the coming days,” two officials told CNN, adding that Washington is “unsure if [Israel] has made a final decision to carry out such a move in direct defiance of President Joe Biden.”

One official said Israel is far from devising a proper plan to safely evacuate the over one million displaced Palestinians sheltering in Rafah, which would require infrastructure for food, hygiene, and shelter.

Israeli forces stormed and seized control of the Rafah border crossing on 7 May. Dozens of civilians, including children, have been killed as jets continue to heavily bombard the besieged city. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been forcibly displaced, and the operation has severely disrupted efforts to send aid into the strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signaled that Israel is planning to expand the operation.

“The president was clear that he would not supply certain offensive weapons for such an operation were to occur,” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday.

Washington has been warning for months that it would not support a full-scale operation in the city unless an adequate evacuation plan was devised. Instead, it called for “limited” raids.

Read more : 62 Israeli soldiers were wounded in 48 hours in the Gaza Strip.


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