Gaza War! Joe Biden Sends CIA Director To Egypt As Israel Intensifies Attacks In Rafah City

Gaza War! Joe Biden Sends CIA Director To Egypt As Israel Intensifies Attacks In Rafah City

By Spy Uganda Correspondent

The C.I.A. director, William J. Burns is currently in Cairo for talks aimed at securing the release of hostages being held in Gaza and a temporary pause in fighting, amidst mounting concerns over Israel’s stated plans to invade the final bit of the territory where civilians have been sheltering.

The ongoing discussions are a sign that the door to a negotiated halt in fighting remains open, despite Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, publicly dismissing a Hamas proposal last week.

Mr. Netanyahu has instead said he believes “total victory” is within reach and that it is necessary to send ground forces into Rafah, the city in southern Gaza where more than 1 million people have sought refuge from fighting elsewhere in the enclave.

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A U.S. official confirmed Mr. Burns’s travel plans on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions. An Israeli delegation including the heads of the intelligence agency Mossad and the Shin Bet security service were also traveling to Cairo for talks, the Israeli news media reported.

President Biden said on Monday that the United States was working on a deal between Israel and Hamas that would free the remaining hostages and pause the fighting for at least six weeks. He said that he had spoken with Mr. Netanyahu and the leaders of Egypt and Qatar to “push this forward” over the past month.

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“The key element of the deals are on the table. “There are gaps that remain, but I’ve encouraged Israeli leaders to keep working to achieve the deal.” Mr. Biden said at a news briefing.

Mr. Biden also said that Israel should not proceed with a ground offensive into Rafah without a “credible plan” to protect civilians.

Officials of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court were more direct, warning of catastrophic consequences if Israeli forces invaded the city.

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Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, said that any incursion into Rafah would jeopardize the delivery of essential aid to a territory where food, water, medicine and shelter are in critically short supply. Rafah contains the only border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, and that crossing is the primary portal for aid.

The United Nations, he indicated, would play no part in Israel’s evacuation plans.

“We will not be party to forced displacement of people, as it is, there is no place that is currently safe in Gaza.” Mr. Dujarric said.

Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, said that he was “deeply concerned” about the prospect of an offensive into Rafah, and hinted at the possibility of prosecution for war crimes.

“All wars have rules and the laws applicable to armed conflict cannot be interpreted so as to render them hollow or devoid of meaning,” he said in a statement posted on social media.

So far, however, the escalating international pressure appears to have had little effect on Israel. Mr. Netanyahu has called for the military to draft a plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah in order to minimize casualties, though international aid groups have said the evacuation of so many people is unrealistic.

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