Report: Israel opts for limited Rafah action with Biden’s blessing

E. Rowell:  Of all the multiple possibilities about this article’s meaning, it appears more likely to be an expression of what the US administration desires, and what the US administration wants the world to think should be happening.   The US government appears to want the Netanyahu government to fall.  If the Israeli government/military chooses the path set out here, it probably would fall.  The final comment about the ICC is a disgusting swipe at the Netanyahu government.

The IDF won’t engage in a full-scale assault on the last Hamas stronghold in southern Gaza.

JNS    21 May 2024

IDF soldiers during operational activity in the Jabalia area of northern Gaza on May 20, 2024. Credit: IDF.

Israel will not engage in a full-scale military offensive in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah. Instead, it will continue its limited operation in the last Hamas bastion, with the blessing of the Biden administration, according to Washington Post analyst David Ignatius.

In an opinion piece published on Monday citing sources familiar with the matter, the newspaper’s senior commentator wrote that the framework for eventually ending the Gaza war became more clear after a just-wrapped trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel by U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk, the U.S. National Security Council’s coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Israeli leaders have reached a consensus about a final assault on Hamas’s four remaining battalions in Rafah. Instead of the heavy attack with two divisions that Israel contemplated several weeks ago, government and military leaders foresee a more limited assault that U.S. officials think will result in fewer civilian casualties and, for that reason, Biden won’t oppose,” said Ignatius.

“At least 800,000 of the roughly 1.5 million Palestinians who had gathered in Rafah have left, U.S. officials believe,” he added.

Ignatius also wrote that Israeli defense officials have agreed on a strategy for “the day after” Hamas is defeated, with Ramallah playing a role. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is against Palestinian Authority involvement in governing Gaza given its support for terrorism, a stance Ignatius acknowledges.

The post-Hamas Gaza “will include a Palestinian security force drawn in part from the Palestinian Authority’s administrative payroll in Gaza. This Palestinian force will be overseen by a governing council of Palestinian notables, backed by moderate Arab states such as Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Ignatius also highlighted the potential diplomatic breakthrough with the Saudis during Sullivan’s early Sunday meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in which Riyadh said that a draft security agreement with Washington is nearly finalized, and the two sides are working on “the Palestinian issue” to “find a credible path” forward. This agreement would include normalization with Israel.

Netanyahu’s right-wing and religious coalition remains opposed to many of the proposed ideas for ending the war, Ignatius acknowledged, writing that “the final dealmaking might fall to a future Israeli government.”

Another potential obstacle to the war winding down is Monday’s decision by the International Criminal Court prosecutor to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as Hamas terror leaders. U.S. President Joe Biden called it “outrageous” to draw a moral comparison between Israel and Hamas.

An Israeli source told Ignatius that the ICC “changes everything, in a way we are yet to understand.”


May 21, 2024 | 10 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

10 Comments / 10 Comments

  1. I am very interested in this article because it brings back the image of Milosevic being brought to the border on way to the Hague.

    The CIA had won

    And that’s their mindset… EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE

  2. Times of Israel is reporting it, too but the source named is “unidentified officials” and they are just quoting from the same Washington Post article whose source is this same David Ignatius who is described as a political analyst.

    ” Melvin A. Goodman, a 42-year CIA veteran, Johns Hopkins professor, and senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, has called Ignatius “the mainstream media’s apologist for the Central Intelligence Agency,”

  3. This is how the Washington Post opinion piece this article links to ends:

    “The elements of an agreement that would bring an eventual end to the war are there — on paper. Because Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition balks at many of the details, the final dealmaking might fall to a future Israeli government. But you can see, in the distance, the contours of a possible exit ramp.”

    And in the body of the article: ” Israel defense officials have agreed on a strategy for “the day after” Who, Ganz, Gallant and the Concepzia generals.?

    ” Some Israeli officials — but not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — accept that this governing entity would have ties with the PA in Ramallah.”

    Sounds like wishful thinking to me. They are trying to make it happen by reporting it in such a way as to make it seem it is happening, like what they do with hypothetical election statistics through their local U.S. imperialist running dogs ( 😀 ) with Channel 14 standing alone..

  4. I dunno. Fake news? also this from today:

    IDF assesses: The war will continue until 2026
    The IDF already controls about half of the Philadelphi axis and close to a million Gazans have evacuated from Rafah towards the north.

    May 21, 2024, 12:10 AM (GMT+3)

    The IDF estimates that the war will continue until 2026, with an additional front opening in the north this September at the latest.

    In the meantime, the IDF already controls about half of the Philadelpi axis and close to a million Gazans have evacuated from Rafah to the north, towards western Khan Yunis and Deir al-Balah.

    In the last day, the combat team of the 679th Brigade began a divisional operation in the area of the Sabra district in western Gaza. As part of the operation, the forces cleared the area of enemy infrastructure, located an underground route and IED that remained in the area adjacent to the corridor.

    The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced on Monday that the soldiers of the 98th Division are in intense combat in the heart of Jabaliya. The division-level operation is led by the combat teams of the 7th, 460th and Paratrooper Brigades.

    So far, the soldiers have eliminated more than 200 terrorists, destroyed terrorist infrastructure and destroyed underground tunnels both from the ground and from the air. The soldiers have been locating launch areas and destroying dozens of rocket and mortar launchers.

    In the center of the Gaza Strip, soldiers of the 99th Division are conducting targeted raids on enemy infrastructure, while also operating to protect the area of the Central Gaza Strip Corridor. This followed the completion of a division-level operation in the Zeitoun area last week in which terrorists were eliminated in close-quarters encounters.

  5. News reports about war are often false sometimes slightly and sometimes in major ways. This might be one of those.

  6. “Ignatius also wrote that Israeli defense officials have agreed on a strategy for “the day after” Hamas is defeated, with Ramallah playing a role. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is against Palestinian Authority involvement in governing Gaza given its support for terrorism, a stance Ignatius acknowledges.”

    “Israeli Defense Officials” – Woke, Leftist Generals who will not allow Israeli Jews to defend themselves by owning a gun and a few bullets. You really have to hate and fear your own Jews if act like your enemies towards them.

    I mean if you are Iran you have to be laughing at these clowns in the IDF.