Business and Economy

Biden Urges Israel to Protect Civilians in Gaza Before Major Offensive in Rafah

Rafah, Gaza Strip (February 13, 2024) – As over 1 million Palestinians shelter in Rafah, Gaza after fleeing violence, US President Joe Biden has strongly urged Israel to ensure the safety of civilians before launching any major military operation in the densely populated city.

In high stakes move, Biden emphasized to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a “credible plan” must be in place to protect Rafah civilians, believed to be extremely vulnerable if conflict escalates. With the Gaza Strip already in humanitarian crisis, the White House warned against further forced displacement of civilians.

Jordan King Meets Biden, Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza

Too many innocent lives have been lost. We need a lasting ceasefire now,” said Jordan’s King Abdullah II after meeting Biden, who agreed all efforts must be made to end the months-long conflict devastating Gaza. The leaders discussed Palestinian Authority reform to potentially assume authority in Gaza if governing group Hamas is removed.

Israel continues holding 100+ hostages from Gaza, with Biden pushing a conditional ceasefire: 6 weeks halted fighting in exchange for hostage release. Some Palestinian prisoners have been freed, but key deal elements remain unsettled.

Gaza’s Health Ministry reports over 28,000 Palestinians killed, 80% of Gaza’s population displaced and massive humanitarian crisis during Israel’s sustained offensive against Hamas militants. Israel says 10,000 killed were fighters. With world powers urging restraint, the White House insists any Israeli military action must prioritize protecting Rafah civilians.

The situation in Rafah is increasingly dire,” said UN human rights chief Volker Turk. “An assault would likely kill many more civilians.” With the city bursting beyond capacity, displaced Gazans lack adequate water, food, medicine. “They live in fear, uncertain if they will survive the next day,” said a Rafah doctor.

Biden affirmed commitment to a two-state resolution, urging readiness from Palestinian Authority to assume Gaza authority if Hamas is ousted. But Jordan’s King argued “Separation of the West Bank and Gaza cannot be accepted.

Israel Must Craft Attack Minimizing Civilian Casualties, or Hold Fire

With ceasefire hopes dimming, Biden told Netanyahu that attacking Rafah requires “credible plans” for civilian safety. Rafah represents Gaza’s sole entry point for vital humanitarian aid. Any major offensive would further endanger a vulnerable populace lacking basic needs.

Israel insists military targets must be pursued in Rafah, but Operations must account for innocent lives. Gaza teeters on humanitarian catastrophe amidst the ongoing crisis. The White House message is clear: Israel must craft an attack minimizing civilian casualties, or hold fire altogether.

Samuel Foster
Samuel Foster brings a keen insight into current affairs and politics. As a skilled writer, he not only stays abreast of the latest developments but also articulates them with depth and clarity, making him a valuable contributor to our website.

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