Blinken: There are ‘better ways’ to defeat Hamas than Rafah op

The Biden administration “will not support a major military operation in Rafah,” says Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

By World Israel News Staff

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that the U.S. is firmly against an Israeli military operation in Rafah, claiming that Israel could pursue alternatives in its mission to oust the Hamas terror group from power in the Gaza Strip.

“We will not support a major military operation in Rafah, absent an effective plan to make sure that civilians are not harmed,” Blinken told local media as he toured the Port of Ashdod on Wednesday, during his sixth visit to Israel since the war began nearly seven months ago.

The U.S. believes that “there are other ways, better ways of dealing with the real ongoing challenge of Hamas that do not involve a major military operation in Rafah,” Blinken added.

Notably, Blinken did not reveal any details regarding alternatives to a ground incursion to achieve the goal of rooting out Hamas.

Rafah, a city in the southern Strip, is widely believed to be the last stronghold for the Hamas terror group in the coastal enclave. However, the Biden administration has put heavy pressure on Israel not to invade the city due to the presence of over one million civilians in the area.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that an invasion of Rafah is imminent, but has repeatedly postponed the operation.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday that should Hamas accept a ceasefire and hostage deal, a ground incursion into Rafah would be shelved.

Later on Wednesday, Blinken spoke to a crowd gathered outside of his hotel in Tel Aviv, many of whom were relatives of Israelis who were kidnapped on October 7th and are still held hostage in the Strip.

“Bringing your loved ones home is at the heart of everything we’re trying to do, and we will not rest until everyone – man, woman, soldier, civilian, young, old – is back home,” Blinken said.

“We will not rest; we will not stop until you’re reunited with your loved ones,” he continued.

“So please keep strong, keep the faith. We will be with you every day until we get this done.”