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U.S. Maintains Support for Israel Amid Rafah Airstrike Investigation

Payam Javan: On May 28, the White House stated that the recent Israeli strike in Rafah, which killed at least 45 Palestinians, has not crossed President Joe Biden’s red line for halting arms shipments to Israel. White House National Council spokesperson John Kirby confirmed there are no policy changes in response to the strike and emphasized the importance of the Israeli investigation into the incident.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the airstrike as a “tragic mistake” and assured a thorough investigation. Despite questions about why Palestinian deaths did not breach the red line, Kirby reiterated that the U.S. aims to avoid a major ground operation in Rafah.

The Israeli Defense Forces’ preliminary findings suggest a secondary explosion caused the casualties. President Biden had previously warned that U.S. military support would cease if Israel conducted a large-scale invasion in Rafah. This strike followed the ICC’s order for Israel to halt military operations in Rafah, a city heavily affected by ongoing conflict and displacement.

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