Report: Biden Administration Believes Israel Has Enough Troops to Enter Rafah in Expansive Operation

By Yoni Weiss

Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, last week. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

According to two senior administration officials who spoke to CNN, the assessment from the Biden administration is that the IDF have positioned sufficient troops near southern Gaza’s Rafah to potentially initiate a full-scale invasion in the coming days.

However, despite this buildup, senior U.S. officials are uncertain whether Israeli authorities have definitively decided to proceed with the operation, which would directly challenge Biden’s stance.

One source mentioned in the report cautioned that Israel has not adequately prepared, including infrastructure for food, hygiene, and shelter, for the potential evacuation of over a million Gazans currently residing in Rafah.

If Israel proceeds with such a significant ground operation, it would contradict months of warnings from the U.S., including explicit concerns voiced by Biden earlier in May. Following the IDF’s limited operation in Rafah, Biden had indicated to CNN that the U.S. would withhold additional arms shipments to Israel should a full-scale invasion occur.

Meanwhile, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell stated on Monday that the Biden administration does not foresee Israel achieving “total victory” in defeating Hamas in Gaza. He also noted that U.S. officials have urged Israel to develop a clear plan for post-war governance in Gaza.

Campbell’s remarks signify a significant shift, and they represent the clearest acknowledgment from a top U.S. official that Israel’s current military strategy may not achieve its intended outcome.

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