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Effects of Israel seeks rescheduling of canceled US meeting on rafah offensive plans

The number of civilian deaths in Gaza, the severe food shortages, and Israel’s intentions to advance its military attack against Hamas terrorists into the heavily populated, far-southern city of Rafah home to many displaced civilians have led to increasing condemnation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by the United States. The 2.4 million people who live in the Palestinian territories are already facing a dire humanitarian crisis, therefore world leaders have issued warnings against a Rafah attack.

Importance of US-Israel cooperation

The UN stated that the health system in the region is failing due to ongoing hostilities and access constraints and that starvation “is ever closer to becoming a reality in northern Gaza”. Despite a legally binding resolution adopted by the UN Security Council three days prior, which called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the release of terrorist hostages, bombing and violence have persisted. 

In protest of the UN ceasefire resolution, which passed because the US abstained, Netanyahu canceled an Israeli trip to Washington to discuss the Rafah proposal. Since then, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said, Netanyahu’s administration has reversed course and decided to reschedule the meeting dedicated to Rafah. “Convenient date” was what they were trying to find, she said. According to US officials, they intend to offer Israel a substitute for Rafah that is concentrated on hitting Hamas targets with the least amount of civilian casualties possible. At least 32,490 Palestinians have died as a result of Israel’s horrific military assault on Gaza since October 7, 2023, the most of them were women and children. Israel’s ceaseless bombings have left hundreds of people injured and many more missing, who are thought to be buried beneath the debris of the houses they demolished.

Motivations behind Israeli initiative:

In an initial toll released, the health ministry said that 66 additional individuals had died overnight. Around 1,160 Israeli settlers were killed in an extraordinary operation carried out by Hamas on October 7 of last year, according to an AFP count of Israeli government numbers. About 250 people were also taken prisoner by the fighters. After a previous truce and agreement to free the hostages, Israel claims that roughly 130 people are still in Gaza, 34 of whom are thought to be dead. Three of Gaza’s hospitals were the scene of ongoing fighting, which made the patients, medical personnel, and internally displaced residents inside fearful. 

Diplomatic dynamics and regional context

The Palestine Red Crescent announced earlier this week that the Al-Amal hospital in Khan Yunis, close to Rafah, “has ceased to function completely” after the evacuation of residents from the medical facility. The Israeli military charges Hamas fighters with hiding in hospitals and using patients as human shields. a charge that the Palestinian resistance organization has always refuted. Troops were being fired upon, according to the Israeli army, “both from inside and outside the emergency ward at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.” 

The army stated that troops launched an airstrike on the emergency ward “while avoiding harm to civilians, patients, and medical teams” after starting their operation on Al-Shifa early in the evening. “Intensive exchanges of fire between the Israeli military and armed Palestinians” have been recorded by the UN. It quoted the health ministry as claiming that the army had locked patients and medical personnel inside one building and prevented them from leaving. According to Israel’s army, troops have taken patients, employees, and citizens to alternative medical facilities that they had established.

US response and considerations

According to the health ministry, Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have also gathered surrounding Nasser Hospital. Although no raid has been initiated, gunfire has been heard. Thousands were trapped inside, the Red Crescent said. Nearly six months of fighting and a siege have left Gaza without most of its essentials, including gasoline, food, and water. Israel disputes that it is obstructing food trucks, but UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, reports that the amount of aid arriving in the Gaza Strip via land is significantly less than it was prior to the conflict, about 150 vehicles per day as opposed to at least 500 before the conflict. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, Due to restricted land access, a number of countries have started airdropping supplies, and a maritime corridor from Cyprus has shipped its first food shipment. However, UN agencies stated that these cannot take the place of land delivery. People in a desperate state have raced to relief packages that are floating down on parachutes. According to Hamas, eighteen individuals perished in stampedes or drowned while attempting to get airdropped assistance.

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