Leaked United States Document Revealed “Catastrophic” Cost of Israel’s Rafah Invasion

On March 5, 2024, media outlet The Intercept leaked an internal cable that American authorities are well aware of the humanitarian catastrophe that will occur if Israel goes through with its plans to invade the Palestinian city of Rafah. 

Israeli authorities argue that this is Hamas’ last stronghold. 

The Cradle noted that Rafah “An area of 62km squared, with over 1.5 million Palestinian civilians internally displaced and living in refugee camps.” There has been increased speculation in the last few weeks of Israel launching a ground assault against Rafah. 

This potential assault has been sharply criticized by international figures and has caused tension between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  

That said, the US has continued sending weapons to the Israeli army, which includes roughly thousand MK-82 500-pound bombs and KMU-572 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) each.

The leaked cable revealed that US authorities recognized that the impact of such a military expansion would be disastrous. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance wrote the cable. It read as follows: 

“A potential escalation of military operations within Southern Gaza’s Rafah Governorate could result in catastrophic humanitarian consequences, including mass civilian casualties, extensive population displacement, and the collapse of the existing humanitarian response, multiple relief actors have warned USAID’s Levant Disaster Assistance Response Team.”

One of the “key points” referenced in the cable, an Israeli military venture in Rafah would “block the entry and transport of fuel and life-saving humanitarian assistance throughout the enclave,” thereby deteriorating the state of Palestinians who have been experiencing deplorable conditions as a result of Israel’s invasion. 

The cable also detailed that there is no realistic plan of evacuation for the Palestinians that would be displaced in the military invasion of Rafah.

On top of that, the cable mentioned that “a large portion of those residing in Rafah, including elderly populations, exhausted IDPs, and those with reduced mobility, would likely remain in the governorate during the potential military operation due to lack of viable alternatives, heightening the risk of mass casualties.” 

The US should not green light Israel’s invasion of Rafah, much less subsidize or arm it. As a matter of fact, the US should use this opportunity to fully break ties with Israel and just treat like any other normal nation. 

At some point, certain relations on the international stage can get too toxic for their own good. 

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