Israelis managed to evacuate Rafah despite US objections

Israelis managed to evacuate Rafah despite US objections

“This Administration never supports anything we do until we do it,” said a senior Israeli official. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Thursday. He WSJ The editorial highlighted what it called “Israel’s successful evacuation” of 950,000 civilians from Rafah, Gaza, despite months of opposition from the Biden Administration.

According WSJFor months, the White House insisted that Israel had “no credible plan” to evacuate Rafah’s 1.3 million residents. President Joe Biden claimed there was no viable way to carry out a major military operation with so many civilians present, which would lead to an arms embargo on Israel. “We are moving away from Israel’s ability to wage war in those areas,” Biden said.

Despite these objections, Israel went ahead with its plans. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan expressed doubt, saying Israel had “no credible plan” and warning against launching a major operation in Rafah.

Biden administration ‘changed’ the narrative

As the evacuation succeeded, the Biden Administration changed its narrative, according to WSJ, stating that Israel had updated its plans to incorporate US concerns. A senior US official commented: “It is fair to say that the Israelis have updated their plans. They have incorporated many of the concerns we have expressed.” The official also suggested the operation could revive hostage negotiations.

The delay caused by the Biden Administration’s initial opposition has prolonged the conflict, mainly to the detriment of Hamas. A senior Israeli official criticized the American stance: “This Administration never supports anything we do until we do it.”

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech at a celebration of American Jewish Heritage Month, in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, United States, May 20, 2024. (Credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS)

He WSJ The editorial explained that the strategic importance of Rafah is crucial to post-conflict plans, as Israel seeks to prevent Hamas from maintaining a military presence and controlling the Egyptian border. Israel has discovered 50 tunnels used for smuggling between Rafah and Egypt. Securing this border is essential to weakening Hamas’ ability to sustain an insurgency.