Biden's 'red line' not crossed by Israel's Rafah strike and ground assault, according to White House


The Israeli military further advanced into Rafah, shortly after a major blaze, caused by an airstrike, resulted in the death of many Palestinians. Despite this, the White House affirmed that their ally did not violate the "red line" set by the Biden administration, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

On Tuesday, for the first time, Israeli tanks were observed entering central Rafah. As criticism from around the world grew over the fatalities at a congested tent camp for displaced civilians, aid shipments to Gaza from the U.S. via sea were halted due to harm to its provisional pier. The national security adviser of the country also stated on Wednesday that he foresees the conflict to persist until the end of the year.

According to U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the United States is not disregarding Israel's actions in the southern Gaza city, despite the displacement of approximately 1 million Palestinians in recent weeks. Kirby made this statement during a media briefing.

According to him, the Rafah actions carried out by Israel were not considered a significant ground operation by the Biden administration. This means that it does not go against President Joe Biden's warnings and would not result in a shift in U.S. policy, which included the possibility of stopping weapons shipments.

According to the speaker, a significant ground operation involves a large number of soldiers strategically and efficiently advancing towards multiple targets on land.

According to an American official, the strike that resulted in casualties was considered a "horrific incident," but it was believed to be an unintentional mistake during an airstrike, rather than a deliberate attack by Israel on Rafah.

In a recent interview with CNN, Biden stated that he has clearly communicated that if they were to enter Rafah (which they have not yet done), he will not provide them with the weapons that have been historically used to address the issues in the city.

During an interview with NBC News reporter Gabe Gutierrez, Kirby was questioned about the presence of Israeli tanks near central Gaza and the possibility of a full-scale ground operation. Kirby responded by stating that Israeli officials had clarified that their tanks were actually moving along the Philadelphi Corridor, a strategic strip of land that runs along the border between Egypt and Gaza, and not within the town itself.

Kirby replied, "That is the statement made by the Israelis. Our information is derived from the Israelis' communication and public statements, as well as our own efforts to understand the situation."

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Kirby and Jean-Pierre were questioned about the Israeli airstrike that took place at a refugee camp in Gaza over the weekend. The strike resulted in the deaths of both Hamas operatives and numerous civilians.At the briefing, reporters pressed the White House for answers. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Just a few days after the Israeli airstrike caused a fire that ripped through a tent camp in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah, resulting in the deaths of 45 people, including children, Kirby made his remarks. These comments were reported by officials from the local health department.

According to Hala Rharrit, a seasoned diplomat and long-time foreign service officer, the Biden administration is currently attempting to "wiggle" out of their recent change in stance regarding Israel's conflict in Gaza. Rharrit, who recently resigned from the State Department as a form of protest against Washington's policy, believes that the administration is trying to backtrack on their previous position on what they consider to be a "red line."

During a phone conversation with NBC News on Wednesday, the speaker highlighted that the president's statement about population centers being a "red line" was aimed at preventing large numbers of civilian casualties. The speaker also questioned the need for diplomatic language when discussing the use of tanks and bombs in these areas.

The recent assault on the tent camp has contributed to an increasing global push following the ruling of the highest court of the United Nations that ordered Israel to put an end to its attack in Rafah. A draft resolution, proposed by Algeria and circulated among the U.N. Security Council, could potentially be voted on as early as Wednesday. This resolution calls for Israel to immediately cease its offensive and calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, as reported by The Associated Press.

According to an Israeli official who spoke to NBC News, Israel presented a fresh cease-fire plan to mediators from Qatar, Egypt, and the United States on Monday. The proposal aimed to achieve a "lasting peace" but did not meet Hamas' demand for a total cessation of the war.

According to Basem Naim, a high-ranking member of Hamas, the mediators have not presented any proposals to Hamas, as reported by NBC News on Tuesday.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the spokesman for Israel Defense Forces, stated during a briefing on Tuesday that Israel is currently conducting an investigation into the Rafah strike. This includes determining the source of the fire that led to the "tragic loss of life."

According to him, the Israeli Defense Forces launched two 17-kilogram (37.5-pound) missiles at two top Hamas leaders. However, he mentioned that a fire was started in the process, which was not planned or intentional.

According to him, there is a chance that the fire was started by weapons that were kept in the area of the attack. However, he clarified that this is only an "assumption" currently. Both an Israeli official and a U.S. official informed NBC News that it may have been a fuel tank that was hit, causing the fire to ignite.

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