US will only support ‘small-scale’ Rafah op – Report

An American defense official says Israeli invasion of the Hamas stronghold “not imminent.”

By World Israel News Staff

The Biden administration will not support a full incursion into Rafah to drive out the Hamas terror group, but will give its backing to a “small-scale” operation by the IDF within the city.

According to a Politico report, top White House officials have held private talks with their Israeli counterparts, indicating that “could support a plan more akin to counterterrorism operations than all-out war.”

Insiders speaking to the outlet said that the administration is keen to “avoid scenes that have led to souring public opinion on Israel’s campaign and Biden’s handling of the war,” especially as criticism from Arab-American voters and the left-wing flank of the Democratic party grows.

In a recent MSNBC interview, Biden said that an Israeli invasion of Rafah would be a “red line” for the American government, though he demurred when it came to specifying the consequences for an inclusion.

Last month, former defense minister and current wartime cabinet member Benny Gantz threatened that the IDF would launch an operation in Rafah, should the hostages not be returned by Ramadan.

Read  Biden breaks silence on pro-Hamas campus protests

The Islamic holiday began on Monday, and there is no sign that Israel is preparing to invade the city.

U.S. military insiders said they believe that Israel is holding off on a Rafah operation for the time being.

“They’d have to do some repositioning of forces, and that has not happened,” a Defense Department official told Politico. “It’s not imminent.”

The official said that the fact Israel has not yet invaded Rafah indicates that it is affected by the pressure from the U.S.

“Israel is going to do what Israel decides to do. It’s kind of like trying to predict the weather,” the official added. “But has the message sent been heard? Yes.”