US says it will not change its policy regarding Israel despite Rafah strike

WASHINGTON: Following the devastating attack on Gaza’s Rafah over the weekend, US President Joe Biden has no intentions to alter his position on Israel. Still, he also is not “turning a blind eye” to the suffering of Palestinian civilians, the White House announced on Tuesday.

According to Gaza’s health authorities, 45 Palestinians lost their lives as a fire ripped through a camp sheltering displaced persons after Israel’s raid on Sunday.

But according to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, Washington does not consider Israel’s operations in Rafah to constitute a large-scale operation that would go outside Biden’s “red lines.”

But in response to the question of “how many charred corpses” it would take for Biden to reconsider the position on the matter, Kirby stated, “This is not something that we’ve turned a blind eye to.”

One million residents have evacuated from Rafah, where Biden has previously stated he would not back a significant Israeli military offensive. Earlier this month, he stopped a shipment of heavy bombs to Israel out of fear that they may be used against the southern Gazan city.

Israeli tanks were positioned in the heart of Rafah on Tuesday, according to witnesses. This came after weeks of fierce combat between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.

However, in response to constant questions, Kirby maintained that the president was not “moving the stick” in defining a significant military offensive against Rafah.

“We have not seen them smash into Rafah,” he stated.

“We have not seen them go in with large units, large numbers of troops, in columns and formations in some sort of coordinated manoeuvre against multiple targets on the ground.”

 

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