Israel asks America for a new date for a canceled meeting related to Rafah

A US official said on Wednesday that Israel had asked the White House to set another date for a high-level meeting to discuss its military plans in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suddenly canceled the planned talks.

The Israeli request indicates a clear attempt to calm tensions between the two allies.

Why did Netanyahu cancel the visit?

Netanyahu canceled a scheduled visit by a high-level Israeli delegation to Washington after the United States on Monday abstained from using its veto power against a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, indicating a new deterioration in his relationship with US President Joe Biden. During the ongoing war.
The suspension of the meeting this week put a new obstacle in the way of the United States’ efforts to get Netanyahu to consider alternatives to a ground invasion of Rafah, the last relatively safe haven for Palestinian civilians, in light of its concerns about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The White House comments
“We agreed with the Prime Minister’s Office to set another date for the ad hoc meeting” for Rafah, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Wednesday.
“So we are working with them now to set a suitable date,” Jean-Pierre added.
An Israeli official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that a new meeting was being arranged, and said that Netanyahu was considering sending an Israeli delegation next week.
-There has been no comment yet from Netanyahu’s office.

Gallant discussions…and the topics of the upcoming talks

– Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant held wide-ranging discussions with senior American officials this week and sought calm between the two governments.
Although Gallant is not part of Netanyahu’s inner circle, he is one of the officials planning the campaign against Hamas following the attack carried out by the movement on October 7, which Israel says killed 1,200 people.
According to an informed source, Ron Dermer, Minister of Strategic Affairs, and Tzachi Hanegbi, National Security Advisor, who are close to Netanyahu, will head the Israeli delegation, as was initially planned.
It is expected that the planned talks will focus on the attack that Israel threatens to launch on Rafah, where more than a million displaced Palestinians are taking refuge.
US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller responded “yes” on Wednesday when asked whether, in his opinion, a limited military operation in Rafah could eliminate the remaining Hamas leaders.
– The White House said last week that it intends to brief Israeli officials on alternatives to eliminating Hamas in Gaza without launching a ground attack in Rafah, which Washington says would represent a “disaster.”

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