Egypt expresses deep concern over Israeli ground offensive in Rafah, according to UN White House National Security Adviser

egypt Tue, Mar. 19, 2024
“Rafah is on the border with Egypt, which has voiced its deep alarm of a major military of operation there and even raises question on its future relationship with Israel if any impending military operation,” said the US White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in a brief to reporters on President Biden's calls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

Biden-Netanyahu’s call is the first since February 15, 2024 as both sides had a rift over the Israeli genocidal on the Gaza Strip.

The two leaders addressed the war in Gaza and a possible Israeli military operation in Rafah.

Sullivan said that Israel has not provided the US or the world with a plan for how they would safely move the Palestinian civilians with allowing them access for basic needs and ensuring feeding them. He added that the invasion of Rafah would put a grave risk right at the moment when it is sorely needed.

“A military plan cannot succeed without an integrated humanitarian plan and political plan. And the president has repeatedly made the point that continuing military operations need to be connected to a clear strategic end game,” he said.

He affirmed that any military ground operation in Rafah is a mistake as it would lead to more innocent civilian deaths.

Sullivan continued that the US president asked Israeli prime minister to send an interagency team from Israeli military and intelligence to Washington to listen to Biden’s concerns and discuss alternatives to achieve its goals other than a ground invasion of the city.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his approval for a potential ground invasion in Rafah, a move that has been widely criticized by the international community and Israeli allies. The prospect of an Israeli invasion in Rafah has been deemed catastrophic by world countries, as the city is home to over 1.5 million Palestinians.

Prior to the war, Rafah's population was around 200,000, but displacement from the conflict has led to an overwhelming increase in residents and strain on infrastructure.

Israel's Rafah plan involves evacuating the population towards designated "humanitarian islands" in the center of the strip.

In a joint press conference with the European Union Commission, the Prime Minister of Belgium, the President of the European Union, and the heads of state and government of Cyprus, Italy, Greece, and Austria, President Sisi said that this Israeli military operation on the Palestinian city of Rafah would liquidate the Palestinian issue, which Egypt unequivocally and absolutely rejects.

“Once again, Egypt reaffirms its unshakeable and immutable rejection of any attempt by Israel to forcibly displace the Palestinian people from their lands, which have been under occupation since 1967, including the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” said President Sisi.