Kamala Harris hints at ‘consequences’ for Israel if IDF enters Rafah

Vice President Harris says Rafah operation would be a ‘huge mistake’ for Israel, hinting at possible US sanctions.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Vice President Kamala Harris warned Israel Sunday against conducting a ground operation in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah, hinting that the Biden administration may take punitive actions against Israel if the warning is ignored.

In an interview with ABC News which was aired on Sunday, Harris said Israel would be making a “huge mistake” if it carried out its much-anticipated ground incursion into Rafah, a city on the Gaza-Egyptian border and the last stronghold of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“We have been clear in multiple conversations and in every way that any major military operation in Rafah would be a huge mistake,” Harris said.

“Let me tell you something: I have studied the maps. There’s nowhere for those folks to go.”

When asked whether the administration would impose “consequences” on Israel should the IDF move forward with the Rafah operation, Harris said she is “ruling out nothing.”

“We’re going to take it one step at a time, but we’ve been very clear in terms of our perspective on whether or not that should happen.”

Harris declined to defend Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s comments earlier this month, in which he called for snap elections in Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ouster.

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“I will not speak for Sen. Schumer, but we are very clear that that is on the Israeli people to make a decision about when they will have an election and who, of course, they elect to lead their government. That’s for them to say.”

The Vice President reiterated the administration’s criticisms of the Netanyahu government’s handling of the war in Gaza – accusing the IDF of excessive collateral damage – while refusing to comment on Schumer’s accusation that Netanyahu is “an obstacle to peace” in the region.

“I believe that we have got to continue to enforce what we know to be and should be the priorities in terms of what is happening in Gaza.”

“We’ve been very clear that far too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. We have been very clear that Israel and the Israeli people and Palestinians are entitled to an equal amount of security and dignity.”

Earlier this month, Harris slammed Israel during a civil rights commemoration, accusing Jerusalem of fomenting a “humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

“The Israeli government must do more to significantly increase the flow of aid,” Harris said. “No excuses. They must open new border crossings. They must not impose any unnecessary restrictions on the delivery of aid.”