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Israel-Hamas war: Blinken calls Rafah offensive a ‘mistake’

US Secretary of State Blinken warned a major Israeli military operation in Rafah would be “a mistake.” The EU called for a pause to fighting in Gaza. DW rounds up developments in the Israel-Hamas war.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that a major Israeli military operation in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip would be a “mistake.”

He made the comments during a joint press conference in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

Blinken called Israel’s planned offensive “unnecessary.”

“There is a better way to deal with the ongoing threat posed by Hamas,” he added.

Over a million displaced Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah, which lies along the Palestinian enclave’s border with Egypt.

Blinken said that there “is no place for civilians … in Rafah to get out of harm’s way,” adding that a “humanitarian catastrophe” would ensue in the territory following a major Israeli offensive.

Israel has said that it has agreed to send a team of officials to Washington to hear US proposals on how to continue fighting Hamas without launching an offensive in Rafah.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) preparations for an offensive in Rafah would “take some time,” but he also added that it would be impossible “to complete the victory without the IDF entering Rafah in order to eliminate the remnants of Hamas’s battalions.” 

Source: Dw

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