Biden begs Netanyahu to ‘hold back’ in Rafah with offer of Hamas ‘sensitive intelligence’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun10,2024

The Biden administration has pleaded with Benjamin Netanyahu to “hold back” on his Rafah offensive with the offer of “sensitive intelligence” to target Hamas leaders, four anonymous officials have claimed.

According to the insiders, Washington has said it would provide information on the location of tunnels the militants have been using in Gaza as an incentive not to enter the city.

Tel Aviv ordered over 100,000 people to evacuate Rafah on Monday as it began an intense bombing campaign. An additional evacuation order was delivered on Saturday before locals began to report a fresh wave of attacks throughout the day.

The unnamed sources told The Washington Post that the Biden administration “is offering Israel valuable assistance if it holds back, including sensitive intelligence to help the Israeli military pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders and find the group’s hidden tunnels.”

They also claimed Washington has said it would help set up tent encampments for the thousands of Palestinians forced to flee Rafah in recent days and help build infrastructure to deliver humanitarian aid.

Rafah is considered to be the last outpost of Hamas fighters left following the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October 2023.

But because of the heavy bombings by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and the Israeli Air Force, the small southern Gazan city has also become home to over 1.4 million Palestinians escaping air raids from the rest of the strip.

The report also quoted a senior administration official claiming that Washington had received reassurances from the Israeli government it would not enter the city before around 800,000 Palestinians had been evacuated.

The comments echo suggestions from National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby who, on Thursday, said: “We could also, in fact, help them target the leaders, including [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar, which we are, frankly, doing with the Israelis on an ongoing basis.”

Israel has now evacuated the eastern third of Rafah, and top military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said dozens of militants had been killed there as “targeted operations continued.”

The United Nations has warned that the planned full-scale Rafah invasion would further cripple humanitarian operations and cause a surge in civilian deaths.

Rafah borders Egypt near the main aid entry points, which are already affected. Israeli troops have captured the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing, forcing it to shut down.

Egypt has refused to coordinate with Israel on the delivery of aid through the crossing because of “the unacceptable Israeli escalation,” the state-owned Al Qahera News television channel reported, citing an unnamed official.

More than 1.4 million Palestinians — half of Gaza’s population — have been sheltering in Rafah, most after fleeing Israel’s offensives elsewhere.

The latest evacuations are forcing some to return north, where areas are devastated from previous attacks. Aid agencies estimate that 110,000 had left before Saturday’s order which adds 40,000.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Biden begs Netanyahu to ‘hold back’ in Rafah with offer of Hamas ‘sensitive intelligence’”
  1. As a staunch supporter of Israel, I believe it’s crucial for Netanyahu to heed Biden’s plea and use the sensitive intelligence to target Hamas effectively. This could potentially minimize civilian casualties in Rafah and bring a step closer to peace in the region.

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