As its ground operation in the Gaza Strip's southern city of Khan Younis continues, the Israeli military is also preparing for a possible operation in Rafah. The idea has become recently a major source of disagreement between Israel and the United States, as well as between Israel and Egypt.
Visiting Israel on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned against a massive operation in Rafah without Israel guaranteeing the safety of the thousands of Gazans displaced there.
Blinken told reporters that any "military operation that Israel undertakes needs to put civilians first and foremost." State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said Thursday that Washington had "yet to see any evidence of serious planning" for a Rafah ground operation. Patel added that with Rafah a crucial entry point for humanitarian aid, such an assault was "not something we'd support."