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Blinken tells Israel ‘better ways’ to deal with Hamas than Rafah assault

rafah invasion plan US
Source: Video Screenshot

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that he made clear to Israeli leaders US opposition to a major attack on the Gaza city of Rafah and said he suggested “better ways” to address Hamas.

“Our position is clear. It hasn’t changed, it won’t change,” Blinken told reporters.

“We cannot and will not support a major military operation in Rafah absent an effective plan to make sure that civilians are not harmed, and we’ve not seen such a plan.”

“At the same time, there are other ways — and in our judgement, better ways — of dealing with the real ongoing challenge of Hamas that does not require a major military operation” in Rafah, Blinken said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to launch an assault on Rafah to root out Hamas despite US opposition and regardless of whether the militants accept a proposal for a temporary ceasefire in return for freeing hostages.

Blinken, whose meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem went longer than expected, declined to characterise the Israeli leader’s position but made clear that the United States would keep raising concerns.

“We’ve been talking to the Israelis about that and we’ll continue those conversations,” he said of Rafah.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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