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Photo Credit: Hatem Khaled/Reuters

As Israel’s invasion of Rafah looms, the U.S. must not supply more weapons. (Op-Ed)

Israel has ordered the evacuation of Rafah as incursion looms. Roughly 50,000 people have fled the city, but that is not an option for everyone, as most do not have anywhere else to go. By Tuesday morning, Israeli airstrikes on Rafah had killed 23 people, including six children, according to hospital officials in southern Gaza. 1.5 million displaced Palestinians live in Rafah as the Israeli offensive continues. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza grows more dire by the second, the U.S. must not supply Israel with American-made bombs. Biden has made it clear that Rafah was his red line, and it seems Netanyahu is going to cross that line.

One man, Rabee Gharableh, told CNN that it was his family’s seventh time facing displacement. “The situation is very difficult… we left in fear, as civilian houses were being targeted, people we know. The shelling was arbitrary and random last night,” he said.

Another woman, who did not share her name, said she “fled from death” with her children. She said her family has been displaced over 10 times since the war broke out and had “endured much suffering and humiliation.”

Israeli officials privately expressed to U.S. officials “deep frustration” on the pause in shipments of weapons, as well as the U.S. media briefings on the matter, according to a source briefed on the matter.

The officials raised concerns “that the move may jeopardize the hostage deal negotiations at a critical moment,” the source told CNN.

The source did not say at what level the conversations took place.

“The Israelis also emphasized that the pressure should be directed towards Hamas, not towards Israel, and reiterated their expectation that the U.S. will continue to stand with Israel as it fights to defeat Hamas,” the source said.

Major world leaders have expressed objection towards a ground offensive in Rafah. Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said on Wednesday that “Australia has been clear about our objections to a major Israeli ground offensive into Rafah, and we have reiterated this to Israel again today.” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned on X against a “major offensive” on Rafah, saying: “One million people cannot vanish into thin air. They need protection. They urgently need more humanitarian aid. To this end, the Rafah and Kerem Shalom border crossings must be reopened immediately.”

“We’re going to continue to do what’s necessary to ensure that Israel has the means to defend itself, but that said, we are currently reviewing some near-term security assistance shipments in the context of unfolding events in Rafah,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at a Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing.

What side of history does the U.S. want to be on? Do we want American bombs to destroy countless more lives? There is no reason that we should still be sending bombs to Israel; they are being used in what can only be described as genocide. 70% of Palestinian deaths are of women and children, the most vulnerable groups in any population. This must end in a permanent ceasefire, and more bombs simply means more death and destruction.


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