US Says Rafah Massacre Won’t Change Its Support for Israel

By Dave DeCamp –

The Biden administration made clear on Tuesday that the Israeli bombing of a tent camp in Rafah that killed 45 displaced Palestinians, including many women and children, would not change US support for Israel.

Both the White House and the State Department claimed Israeli operations in Rafah are not the “full-scale” assault that the US claims it would oppose even as Israeli tanks push further into the city, and the UN says around one million Palestinians have fled Rafah.

“We still don’t believe that a major ground operation in Rafah is warranted. We still don’t want to see the Israelis, as we say, smash into Rafah with large units over large pieces of territory. We still believe that, and we haven’t seen that at this point,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said. “As a result of this strike on Sunday, I have no policy changes to speak to.”

Brutal scenes from the Sunday night massacre surfaced online, outraging the world, including video of a headless child and charred bodies being pulled out of the fire caused by the Israeli strike. When asked how many charred corpses would be enough to make President Biden change his policy, Kirby said he was offended by the question.

“We don’t want to see a single more innocent life taken,” Kirby claimed. “And I kind of take a little offense at the question.”

Israel claimed it didn’t mean to kill civilians in the strike and called it a “tragic mistake,” but the Israeli announcement has been met with much skepticism since the Israeli military has been slaughtering civilians throughout the past seven months.

In an analysis for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, author Amira Hass said the Israeli announcement could only be issued to “consumers of the same [Israeli] media that for seven months has been hiding the unbearably difficult figures and photographs of toddlers who were killed or injured in every Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip.”

The US has backed Israel’s claims about the strike, including the claim that it killed two Hamas officials responsible for activity in the West Bank. On Monday, the White House said Israel had the “right” to target Hamas in Rafah, a direct repudiation of the International Court of Justice’s ruling that Israel must halt its assault on the city.

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