“Refugees need protection”
Biden demands Netanyahu plan for Rafah
February 11, 2024, 10:27 p.m
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Since Israel announced an expansion of its military deployment to Rafah on the border with Egypt, concerns about a million refugees have been growing. During a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, US President Biden pushed for a credible plan to protect them.
In view of plans for a military offensive on the border town of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, US President Joe Biden has called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to protect civilians. A military operation in Rafah “should not be carried out without a credible and actionable plan to ensure the security and support of the more than one million people seeking protection there,” Biden told Netanyahu in a phone call, according to a White House statement.
Biden reiterated to Netanyahu the “common goal” of the USA and Israel to defeat the radical Islamic Hamas and to secure the “long-term security of Israel and its people”. The US President also called for “urgent and concrete steps” to expand and improve “humanitarian assistance to innocent Palestinian civilians.” Biden told reporters on Thursday about the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip that it was “excessive.” Many observers saw this as a toughening of the tone towards Israel.
“We are not frivolous”
In an interview with US television channel ABC News broadcast on Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated that he was sticking to plans for a military offensive in Rafah, despite international warnings. Israel is developing a “detailed plan” to evacuate the city. “We will give the civilian population a safe way out of the city. We are not taking this matter lightly,” said the Israeli head of government.
Areas north of Rafah have already been cleared and can be used as safe zones for civilians, he said. At the same time, he emphasized that victory was “within reach”: “We will do it. We will take the remaining Hamas terror battalions and the last bastion of Rafah.”