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    “Blinken Voices Concern Over Israel’s Plan for Protecting Rafah Civilians”


    Blinken Criticizes Israel's Approach to Protecting Civilians in Rafah

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has raised concerns about Israel’s lack of a “credible plan” to safeguard the 1.4 million Palestinian civilians in Rafah, warning of potential consequences including the resurgence of armed Hamas fighters and chaos in the region.

    Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, Blinken highlighted the risk of Israel inheriting an insurgency if Hamas fighters are not eliminated completely during an attack on Rafah. He noted that Hamas fighters have already returned to areas in northern Gaza that Israel claimed to have cleared.

    The tensions between the US and Israel have intensified over President Joe Biden’s decision to pause a shipment of bombs to Israel, citing fears of significant civilian casualties in Rafah. Blinken emphasized that Israel must have a clear plan to protect civilians, especially given the large number of people sheltering in Rafah.

    The State Department’s report, unrelated to the bomb shipment, raised concerns about Israel’s use of US-supplied arms possibly violating international law. Blinken defended the report, stating that the chaos of war makes it challenging to verify specific instances of alleged breaches.

    Blinken warned that if Israel launches a full-scale attack on Rafah without a credible plan to protect civilians, certain systems of support from the US could be withheld. He stressed the importance of a post-war plan for security, governance, and reconstruction in Gaza, noting ongoing efforts with Arab governments and others towards this objective.

    The death toll in Israel’s military operation in Gaza has risen significantly, with thousands of Palestinians killed according to Gaza’s health ministry. The conflict, triggered by a Hamas-led attack on southern Israel, has also resulted in casualties among Israeli soldiers.

    Sources By Agencies

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