RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The White House says President Joe Biden has told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel shouldn’t go ahead with a military operation in the densely populated Gaza border town of Rafah without a “credible” plan to protect civilians.
They spoke after two Egyptian officials and a Western diplomat told The Associated Press that Egypt has threatened to suspend its peace treaty with Israel if Israel’s Gaza offensive expands into Rafah.
Netanyahu told “Fox News Sunday” that there’s “plenty of room north of Rafah for them to go to” after Israel’s offensive elsewhere in Gaza, and said Israel would direct evacuees with “flyers, with cellphones and with safe corridors and other things.”
Egypt fears a mass influx of Palestinian refugees who may never be allowed to return. Over half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have fled to Rafah to escape fighting in other areas.
The threat to suspend the Camp David Accords, a cornerstone of regional stability for nearly a half-century, came after Netanyahu said sending troops into Rafah was necessary to win the four-month war against Hamas. He asserted that Hamas has four battalions there.
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