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Statement on Israel’s Threat to Invade Rafah

We are utterly appalled by reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu still plans to deploy Israeli Defense Forces into Rafah, despite multiple warnings by allies and humanitarian agencies that this violence would prove catastrophic for the over one million Gazans taking refuge in that city.

This is a crucial moment for the White House. We commend the President for acknowledging the invasion of Rafah as a red line for the United States. It is crucial that the President not waver from that conviction — and given Netanyahu’s announcement that he will proceed to Rafah anyway, that the President be prepared to back up that red line with meaningful consequences. For example, we are encouraged by recent reporting that conditionalizing weapons transfers to Israel is being considered by this administration.

U.S. military troops may not be boots on the ground in Gaza. But U.S. military families are still directly affected by Israel’s actions. Many of our loved ones have already deployed to the region for security purposes, and our ally’s blocking of humanitarian aid delivery has now led to U.S. military troops being called upon to take extraordinary measures to mitigate that impact. We are direct stakeholders in these decisions, and so we demand courageous conviction from our Commander-in-Chief in holding our ally accountable for humanitarian protections.

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