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Israel agrees to listen to US’ concerns ahead of Rafah invasion



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As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows to conduct military operations in Gaza, US National Security Advisor John Kirby has said that Tel Aviv has agreed to listen to Washington’s ‘perspectives’ and ‘concerns’ before launching any offensive inside the Rafah city of Gaza.

“Well, look, I think, again, we have to have a better understanding from the Israelis about what they want to do. As a matter of fact, we’ve had several staff talks with them. We intend to do that more,” Kirby said in an interview with ABC News aired on Sunday.

“They’ve assured us they won’t go into Rafah until we’ve had a chance to really share our perspectives and concerns with them. So we’ll see where that goes,” he added.

Referring to the ongoing hostage and ceasefire negotiations between the two sides, US official asserted that if both sides will approves the deal there would be no fighting for six weeks.

“Obviously, if we’re able to get this hostage deal in place and are still working at that, Hamas has not fully rejected it. They are considering this proposal on the table,” he said.

“If we can get that in place, then that gives you six weeks of peace. It gives you no fighting for six weeks and that includes no fighting in Rafah and what we’re hoping is that after six weeks of a temporary cease-fire, we can maybe get something more enduring in place. We want to see an end of the conflict as soon as possible,” Kirby added.

On being asked over the recent protests in university campuses across US seeking ceasefire in Gaza, Kirby reiterated freedom of peaceful protests and said that they will leave the matter to local authorities to act on the protests.

“The president knows that there are very strong feelings, George, about the war in Gaza. He understands that. He respects that. And as he has said many times, we certainly respect the right of peaceful protests. Now, people should have the ability to air their views and to share their perspectives publicly but it has to be peaceful,” he said.

“Now, we’ll leave it to local authorities to determine how these protests were managed, but we want them to be peaceful protests. And obviously, we don’t want to see anybody hurt in the process of peacefully protesting. But, again, the president understands that. We absolutely condemn the antisemitism language that we’ve heard of late and certainly condemn all the hate speech and the threats of violence out there. These protests, we understand they’re important, but they do need to be peaceful,” he added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 29 2024 | 6:40 AM IST

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