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  HOME PAGE 15/04/2024 14:56 
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White House 'Expecting' Israeli Delegation Visit Next Week To Discuss Rafah

03.04.2024 22:12

'Military operations is not the way to go. There are alternative ways of getting those Hamas operators in Rafah,' says White House.

The White House said Wednesday it is "expecting" an Israeli delegation to visit next week after initial plans were abruptly scuttled by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Arrangement for a sit-down in late March fell apart after Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu called off the trip in retaliation for the US choosing to not veto a UN Security Council resolution that demanded an immediate cease-fire in Gaza for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said the US is "hoping to see, we're expecting, I shouldn't say hoping, expecting that will happen in person next week."

Israel's intended plans for an offensive on the southern Gazan city of Rafah have sounded international alarm bells, with many urging restraint or cancelation of the operation.

The US is seeking to present Israel with alternatives to its vowed ground invasion of Rafah where 1.5 million displaced Palestinians have sought refuge. An initial virtual meeting happened Monday. Netanyahu has vowed, however, to follow through with the invasion.

"Military operations is not the way to go. There are alternative ways of getting those Hamas operators in Rafah," said Jean-Pierre. "The president takes this very seriously. He wants to make sure that innocent civilian lives are protected."

At least 32,975 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and nearly 75,577 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities in an Israeli offense following an attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas.

Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which last week asked Israel to do more to prevent famine in Gaza. -

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