Rafah “on the brink of catastrophe”: Washington suspends delivery of high-powered bombs intended for Israel

Rafah “on the brink of catastrophe”: Washington suspends delivery of high-powered bombs intended for Israel

Israël a multiplié, mercredi, les frappes sur la bande de Gaza. MAXPPP

A decision described as "very disappointing" by the Hebrew State which continues its operations in the city of Rafah.

Negotiations began on Wednesday in Cairo to try to obtain a truce in the Middle East, but Israel, at the same time, increased its strikes in the Gaza Strip and continued its land offensive in Rafah, in the south of the enclave.

Joe Biden, under pressure from his electorate and the revolt of the student world, last week suspended a delivery of high-power bombs that Israel could use in Rafah, we were told learned on Wednesday.

The decision was taken due to the possible massive assault by the Jewish state in Rafah, which could endanger Palestinian civilians, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin explained on Wednesday.

Intense fighting

This is the first time a high-ranking member of the Biden administration has spoken publicly about what could constitute a shift in U.S. policy. United on arms deliveries to Israel.

Washington's decision was described as "very disappointing" by Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, adding Wednesday in an interview with an Israeli television channel that he did not think the United States would stop delivering weapons to Israel.

Following the Hamas attack on October 7, Joe Biden pledged Washington's full support to Israel, its long-time ally, providing Hebrew State billions of dollars in military aid.

The last bastion of Hamas ?

The Democratic tenant of the White House, however, warned in early April that American support for the offensive led by Israel in the Gaza Strip could be conditional on the implementation of measures to better protect Palestinian civilians and to promote deliveries of humanitarian aid to the enclave.

Despite American warnings, Benjamin Netanyahu has never given up on his land offensive against Rafah, which he presents as the last bastion of Hamas in Gaza. But Israeli Prime Minister and CIA chief William Burns discussed a possible "pause"& ;nbsp;in military operations in the south of the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of hostages, assures an Israeli official, quoted by Le Monde and the AFP.

According to residents and Hamas, the fighting is currently taking place on the outskirts of the city. But IDF forces say they have “eliminated terrorists and discovered terrorist infrastructure, as well as tunnels in several locations in Rafah".

Israel also specifies that the Air Force has "hit more than a hundred terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip".

"We are on the verge of a catastrophe"

Israeli forces also seized the main crossing point between Gaza and Egypt, at Rafah, thus preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Hospitals in the southern Gaza Strip have only three days of fuel left, "which means they could soon stop functioning& quot;, alerted the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Wednesday. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has also started to let patients out of the Rafah hospital in anticipation of a possible evacuation.

More than a million refugees

"We are on the verge of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe", warns Rafah Mayor Ahmed al Sofi, calling on the international community to intervene. Some 1.4 million people are refugees in Rafah and have nowhere to go, he warns.

Under pressure from the international community, Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing point on Wednesday to allow "humanitarian aid"  in the Gaza Strip.

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