The US has rejected Israel’s operational plans for a planned ground operation into Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, reports Channel 12 News.

The Hebrew news agency reports that high-level US and Israeli officials revealed the stark differences in their approaches to the Gaza conflict during a tense two-hour virtual meeting this week.

US officials, including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, criticized the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) plans for Rafah, highlighting the infeasibility of evacuating over a million civilians from the city. Sullivan warned of the potential for a severe humanitarian crisis, stating, “You’re going to be responsible for the third famine crisis of the 21st century.”

The Israeli side, represented by Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, remained firm in their stance that dismantling Hamas requires entering Rafah.

Israel has been playing an expanded role in facilitating humanitarian aid to displaced Gazans, notably enhancing the protection of routes for aid convoys, especially in northern Gaza, where access was previously hampered by looting from Hamas. The IDF announced that it is not only safeguarding existing pathways but also establishing new routes to ensure that aid trucks can deliver their supplies more effectively.

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