US offers valuable intel in exchange for restraint in Rafah, report

Officials say administration offered to give location of Hamas leaders, strategic tunnels if offensive would be limited; also offer to help establish safe tent cities and provide food, water, medicine for civilians leaving area 

The United States offered Israel intelligence on the location of Hamas leaders and strategic tunnels in Gaza, in exchange for restraint in the IDF offensive on Gaza, the Washington Post reported early on Sunday, quoting four sources.
Israel launched its offensive last week, taking hold of the Rafah border crossing to Egypt and surrounding the eastern sections of the city.
According to the Post, Officials including in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) told the government that it would take months to evacuate civilians safely out of Rafah and offered their assistance in constructing adequate tent cities in safe zones, food, water and medicine for displaced Gazans, the report said.
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רפיח עזה
רפיח עזה
Joe Biden, IDF strike on Rafah, Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP )
The American offer was made to Jerusalem in recent weeks while discussions were underway on the planned Israeli offensive, and with the hope that it would be a limited one.
According to the IDF, some 300,000 Palestinians have already left Rafah since the offensive was launched. According to UNRWA, only 110,000 have left.
As the fighting continued, the IDF contacted more residents of eastern Rafah to evacuate to safety, using text messages, phone calls, Arab language media outlets and the dropping of leaflets.
Officials in Israel estimate that the U.S. does not oppose the offensive on the Strip's most southern city but expects an effective evacuation of civilians out of harms way.
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פלסטינים עוזבים את רפיח
פלסטינים עוזבים את רפיח
Palestinians leave Rafah for safety
(Photo: AFP)
Evacuating residents from Gaza City earlier in the war took about a month. The officials also hope that the report submitted to Congress on Friday, by the State Department, which did not find conclusively, that Israel had violated international law, would provide the excuse the administration would need to reverse its decision to withhold certain munitions' supplies from Israel.

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