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Jordan’s king warns Biden of “new massacre,” amid Israeli offensive in Rafah

Jordan’s king warns Biden of "new massacre," amid Israeli offensive in Rafah
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
May 7, 2024 12:00 AM

Jordan’s King Abdullah warns US President Joe Biden about Israeli offensive in Rafah, highlighting the possibility of a “new massacre” of Palestinian people

In a closed-door meeting on Monday, Jordan’s King Abdullah warned US President Joe Biden about the impending threat of an Israeli offensive in Rafah, underlining the possibility of a “new massacre” of Palestinian people and asking for immediate international involvement.

Following Abdullah’s lunch with Biden at the White House, the Jordan royal court issued a statement conveying the monarch’s worries, noting, “The king warned of the repercussions of the Israeli ground offensive on Rafah, which could cause a regional spillover of the conflict.”

On Monday, Israeli airstrikes targeted Rafah, leading officials to advise Palestinians to leave portions of the city, which is densely populated with over a million displaced by the seven-month battle.

On Sunday, Hamas reaffirmed its request for an end to the fighting, connecting it to the release of captives, a demand that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has bluntly refused. Additionally, Hamas conducted an attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza, killing three Israeli troops, according to Israeli media.

In a phone call with Netanyahu on Monday, President Biden advised prudence, warning against a large-scale Israeli military assault in Rafah without proper safeguards to protect Palestinian civilians. The US president has repeatedly highlighted the need for Israel to refrain from such operations unless it has a solid strategy in place to protect civilian life.

The Jordanian statement echoed Abdullah’s warning about the possible repercussions of an Israeli assault on Rafah, emphasizing the catastrophic circumstances facing Gaza’s 1.4 million internally displaced Palestinians as a result of the continuing fighting.

“His Majesty stressed the importance of all efforts that seek an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” the statement went on to say. “The king and the U.S. president affirmed their commitment to working towards a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza, emphasizing the importance of facilitating the delivery of essential humanitarian aid to the Strip given the urgent needs.”

Despite continuous diplomatic attempts, the Biden administration and Israeli authorities continue to dispute the planned military operation in Rafah. The Biden-Abdullah meeting marked their most recent conversations on a variety of issues, including a potential Israeli ground offensive and the humanitarian situation confronting the Palestinian people.

Jordan and other Arab governments have upped their criticism of Israel’s conduct, with calls for a ceasefire gaining traction since mid-October as civilian deaths grow.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:57 PM