Israel Approves Rafah Attack Plan

The Israeli war cabinet accepted a plan to attack the last major Hamas stronghold in Rafah this week, marking a potential confrontation with the Biden administration. The decision came after the White House delayed military aid to Israel and promised to block further assistance if Israel proceeded with the attack.

Israel seized a major border crossing near Rafah last week and appeared poised to enter the city. Hamas rejected several potential ceasefire deals and accepted one not offered by Israel.

However, Hamas and Israel appear ready to continue negotiations.

The decision could set up the last major confrontation of the current war in Gaza following the Hamas terrorist attack last Oct. 7 that killed about 1,200 people. Israel has captured much of the territory’s area, including much of its heavier-populated north.

The government approved the measure about two days after President Joe Biden said that the United States would block munitions to the country.

“Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers,” said Biden.

The president called Israel’s actions “wrong” and that the United States would not “supply the weapons and artillery shells used.”

The Israeli decision also came as the U.S. State Department said that it was “Reasonable to Assess” that Israel had violated international law during its current campaign against Hamas in Gaza.

The same report said that Israel had not violated agreements with the United States regarding the use of weapons. It also reported that there was no evidence that Israel blocked any humanitarian aid.

Biden’s comments also drew sharp criticism from congressional Republicans. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said that Biden’s comment was a “complete turn.”

“I mean, 24 hours ago it was confirmed to me by top administration officials that the policy’s very different than what he stated there. So I hope that’s a senior moment,” said the speaker.

Biden had previously called a potential attack on Rafah a “red line” but later walked the comments back.