Blinken expressed Washington's concern about the Rafah operations to Netanyahu

Muhammad Rajavi / Anatolia

The US website “Axios” reported that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken conveyed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant Washington's “deep” concern about the escalation of military operations in Rafah, southern Gaza.

Citing an informed Israeli official (whom it did not name), the website reported that Blinken met with Netanyahu and Gallant on Wednesday in addition to Israeli army chief Herzei Halevi, Shin Bet director Ronen Barr and Mossad director David Barnia.

At the meeting in Tel Aviv, Halevy briefed Blingen on the Israeli military's actions and plans for the coming weeks, explaining that “the goal is to eliminate Hamas' military infrastructure in Rafah.”

The Israeli official indicated that Blinken conveyed to Netanyahu and Gallant the “serious” concern of US President Joe Biden's administration about a possible escalation of military operations in Rafah.

During the meeting, the US Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs for the Middle East, David Satterfield, spoke about the problems faced in providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, noting the protests by Israel at the Kerem Shalom Crossing (South) to prevent trucks from entering. Gaza Strip.

Later, Blinken intervened and told Netanyahu and Gallant that Israel must resolve the issue “as soon as possible.”

During the meeting, Blinken expressed “concerns about the failure of communication between the Israeli military and international organizations and the inadequacy of conflict avoidance, which has led to the targeting of United Nations staff providing aid.”

For his part, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller later said in a statement that Netanyahu and Blinken “discussed the importance of increasing the amount of humanitarian assistance reaching displaced civilians across Gaza”.

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Blinken and Netanyahu's recent efforts to free hostages in Gaza and “America's vision for lasting peace and security in the region,” Miller said.

Blinken also reaffirmed US support for a Palestinian state, stressing the “urgent need to defuse tensions in the West Bank and prevent an escalation of the conflict,” according to a US State Department statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, Blinken and Netanyahu met in West Jerusalem as part of the US secretary of state's tour of the Middle East, his fifth since the Israeli war against the Gaza Strip broke out on October 7, 2023.

The tour, scheduled to be completed by Blinken on Thursday, includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Israel and the West Bank.

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