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U.S. and Israel Meet to Discuss Rafah Operation
01:18, 19.04.2024 | mamul.am
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Senior U.S. and Israeli officials held virtual talks on Thursday to discuss a possible Israeli ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The Biden administration has expressed worry about a high civilian casualty count if the assault occurs, and it denied reports that the White House gave Israel the green light to attack Rafah if it does not retaliate against Iran for Tehran’s strikes last Saturday.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan led the U.S. delegation, and Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi led the Israeli team. This was the two nations’ second such meeting since April 1; in-person talks scheduled for this week were postponed due to Iran’s attack.

A U.S. official told Axios that Israel is considering a gradual operation in specific Rafah neighborhoods that would be evacuated in advance rather than an all-out assault on the city. In the interim, Israel continues to launch aerial attacks on Rafah, including an overnight strike on Thursday that killed 10 members of a single family, five of whom were children between the ages of 3 and 16, a local hospital reported.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi called for an immediate and lasting cease-fire in Gaza during a bilateral summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Thursday. They advocated for a two-state solution, with Marsudi saying both nations “would also fully support Palestine’s membership” in the United Nations. The State of Palestine currently holds observer status at the multilateral body but is seeking full membership. A U.N. Security Council vote on the matter is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday. It is not expected to pass, as the United States—a veto-wielding member—opposes the move.

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