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US President Warns Israeli PM Against Military Operation in Gaza

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US President Joe Biden issued a stern warning to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding a potential military operation in Rafah, emphasizing that such action would exacerbate the chaos in Gaza. The White House disclosed that both leaders agreed to convene teams from their respective sides in Washington for discussions before any operation in Rafah proceeds.

The White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive dialogue on Gaza, where a dire humanitarian crisis persists following months of conflict. Biden’s message to Netanyahu underscored the risks of escalating anarchy in Gaza and the deepening of the humanitarian crisis if military action in Rafah were to proceed.

Sullivan emphasized the necessity for a strategic and integrated discussion, noting the importance of a coherent strategy for Gaza rather than a rush into military operations. The conversation between Biden and Netanyahu was described as businesslike, with no immediate threats to limit U.S. aid to Israel.

The call between the two leaders, the first since February, comes amidst escalating tensions over Israel’s actions in Gaza. Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s commitment to achieving its objectives in the conflict while providing essential humanitarian aid to the region.

In response to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call for new elections in Israel and criticism of Netanyahu’s approach to peace, Biden expressed support for Schumer’s concerns. Netanyahu, in turn, rebuked Schumer’s remarks as inappropriate.

Despite international pressure to avoid civilian casualties, Netanyahu affirmed Israel’s intent to advance into Rafah, the last relatively secure area in Gaza. The situation remains tense as discussions between the U.S. and Israel continue to navigate the complexities of the conflict.

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