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White House: US, Israel discuss Rafa via video link

White House: US, Israel discuss Rafa via video link

(Keystone SDA) Representatives of the U.S. government and Israeli leadership are set to discuss Israel's planned ground attack on Rafah in the Gaza Strip via video link on Monday. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in Washington, confirming media reports. The transition will be led by US National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan. The meeting was arranged last Friday and the aim was to quickly schedule a dialogue based on urgency. Jean-Pierre initially left open whether another meeting would take place in person.

An Israeli delegation was actually scheduled to travel to Washington last week to hear US concerns about Israel's planned ground attack and discuss alternatives. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled the trip at short notice after the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire without US opposition. Washington sees a large-scale ground offensive in Rafah as a mistake, as hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians seek refuge from the fighting there and want to show Israel alternatives.