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Major Rafah invasion won’t defeat Hamas: White House

John Kirby, White House national security spokesman

The White House has said a full-scale invasion of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip by the Israeli regime would not advanced the regime’s and the United States’ shared objective of defeating the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

"Smashing into Rafah…will not advance that objective," John Kirby, White House national security spokesman, told a briefing with reporters on Thursday.

The regime has vowed for weeks to launch a wholesale ground incursion against the city.

The Israeli military has already gone ahead with waging limited ground attacks against the city and seized the nearby crossing into Egypt, which is the main corridor for transfer of aid into besieged Gaza.

Some 1.5 million Palestinians are seeking refuge in Rafah after fleeing a war that the regime has been waging against the entire Gaza since October 7.

At least 34.904 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed so far during the war, which began following al-Aqsa Storm, a retaliatory operation by the coastal sliver’s resistance groups.

“Our view is any kind of major Rafah ground operation would actually strengthen Hamas’s hands at the negotiating table, not Israel’s,” Kirby added.

He was referring to ongoing Egyptian- and Qatari-mediated talks between the movement and the regime that are aimed at arrival at a potential truce.

On Wednesday, a senior Hamas official said the Israeli regime was prolonging the negotiations so it can go ahead with invading entire Rafah.

“Israel is not serious about reaching an agreement,” said Izzat al-Rishq, who is a member of Hamas’ Political Bureau. It “uses the negotiations as a cover to invade Rafah and occupy the crossing,” the Palestinian official added.

Speaking on Monday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly warned the regime against carrying out the invasion.

"This is an opportunity that cannot be missed, and a ground invasion in Rafah would be intolerable,” he said.

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