International concerns over pending Israeli offensive in Rafah

Blinken expressed his concern to Netanyahu and Gallant about a move on the southern Gaza city, UN Secretary General said that it would 'increase the humanitarian nightmare'; Gallant: 'Hamas' answer to deal will bring the IDF to new places'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the IDF will soon begin its offensive in Rafah and the other two refugee camps in the center of the Gaza Strip, a few hours after the IDF killed a senior member of the Hamas Rafah police. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are two of the many leaders who expressed concern over the IDF's plan to operate in Rafah, where there are more than a million Gazans many of them refugees from other areas of the Strip.
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Earlier Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is visiting Israel. The meeting was summarized as "long and productive", according to sources in Israel, but during the discussion, Blinken brought up the humanitarian concerns in Gaza and about the expansion of the IDF's operation to the city which serves as a "safe haven" for Gaza refugees.
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יואב גלנט ואנתוני בלינקן
יואב גלנט ואנתוני בלינקן
Blinken with Gallant in Defense Ministry
(Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry)
Blinken also met with the heads of the Israeli security establishment, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Gallant told the secretary that Hamas' response to the hostage deal "would lead to the continuation of the war. "Our forces to more places in Gaza, soon," he said. "Hamas' answer was formulated so that Israel would refuse it."
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אש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו נפגש כעת בארבע עיניים עם מזכיר המדינה של ארה"ב אנתוני בלינקן, בלשכתו בקריה בתל אביב
אש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו נפגש כעת בארבע עיניים עם מזכיר המדינה של ארה"ב אנתוני בלינקן, בלשכתו בקריה בתל אביב
Blinken and Netanyahu meet to discuss war and humanitarian issue
(Photo: Kobi Gideon, Ltd)
Officials in Israel insist that military pressure is the only thing that will eventually lead Hamas to a hostage deal.
"Such an action [in Rafah] would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the General Assembly.
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