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White House National Security Coordinator John Kirby said that US officials will “hopefully” speak this week with Israeli officials regarding their plans to enter southern Gaza.

During an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Kirby expressed the Biden administration’s concerns about Israel’s proposed actions in Rafah, where a significant refugee population resides. Kirby said, “First of all, there’s been some staff technical level talks, even since you and I last spoke. We expect that larger conversation with our Israeli counterparts to happen in coming days, hopefully this week.”

Kirby added, “We had a virtual meeting last week, we expect to have an in-person meeting with Israeli counterparts in the next week or so. We’re still narrowing down the schedule where we hope to be able to present in more detail. Our thinking some of our alternatives, the kinds of things that we want them to learn from our own experiences, about how to do operations of this regard.”

This comes as the United States has been at odds with Israel over a potential move in Rafah. Despite the disconnect, Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that a date had been chosen for Israel’s military operation in Rafah.

Currently, the UN estimates that 1.4 million people are living in Rafah, with human rights agencies reporting that the region is in a famine or on the brink of one (mixed claims).


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