U.S. attempts to justify deadly attack by Israel on displaced Palestinians in Rafah

U.S. attempts to justify deadly attack by Israel on displaced Palestinians in Rafah

Just as many people around the world feared, Israel’s actions in Rafah are endangering the lives of the roughly 1.3 million displaced Palestinians who have been sheltering there. On Sunday, at least 45 people were killed and more than 200 were injured in an Israeli military strike on the outskirts of Rafah, with most of the dead being women and children. Horrifying footage showed families desperately seeking cover, along with burned bodies being pulled from the wreckage, including children.

The assault attracted immediate condemnation from around the world, with numerous governments and aid groups joining the UN in calling for the offensive to be stopped. However, the U.S. is taking a decidedly different stance, insisting that the attack has not crossed any red line that would cause Biden to consider withdrawing support.

In fact, the Biden administration has made comments that are being interpreted as justification for the strike. An unnamed White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement that the incident was “heartbreaking” but insisted that Israel has a “right” to pursue Hamas. They also supported Israel’s claims that two Hamas fighters were killed, seemingly implying that it was worth the collateral damage it caused.

“The devastating images following the IDF strike in Rafah last night that killed dozens of innocent Palestinians are heartbreaking,” the statement read. “Israel has a right to go after Hamas, and we understand this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists who are responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians.”

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The U.S. has warned Israel on numerous occasions against carrying out a large-scale ground invasion of Rafah without first implementing a plan to protect the innocent civilians who have been sheltering there.

National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the U.S. is not, in fact, turning a “blind eye” to Palestinian civilians, even as the rising death toll continues to tell a different story.

“We’ve also said we don’t want to see a major ground operation in Rafah that would really make it hard for the Israelis to go after Hamas without causing extensive damage and potentially a large number of deaths. We have not seen that yet,” he said.

When asked whether the latest attack could place Biden in a difficult position, Kirby seemed more concerned about the reputations of Israel and the U.S. than the loss of life, responding: “So this is of concern, clearly, because it’s not in Israel’s best interest. And it’s not in our best interest for Israel to become increasingly isolated on the world stage.”

Bombs used in deadly attack on civilians were made in the U.S., analysis shows

While President Biden has said he won’t provide Israel with heavy bombs for a Rafah operation, it turns out that it was an American-made bomb behind the recent deadly attack.

This is according to analysis by CNN of footage from the scene and input from experts in explosive weapons. Several experts confirmed that the tail of a U.S.-made small-diameter bomb known as GBU-39 could be seen in footage. Made by Boeing, it’s a high-precision munition that is meant to keep collateral damage to a minimum. However, explosive weapons expert Chris Cobb-Smith, a former artillery officer for the British Army, told CNN that “using any munition, even of this size, will always incur risks in a densely populated area.”

The camp that was struck in the attack had been designated a “safe zone” by the Israeli military. After initially saying the massacre had been a targeted attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the fatal airstrike a “tragic mistake” but said Israel will continue to move forward with its controversial operations in Rafah.

Sources for this article include:

News.AntiWar.com

CNN.com

TheGuardian.com

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