Biden Urges Rafah Civilian Protection as Death Toll Crosses 28,000

Critics contend Biden's rhetoric hasn't led to action on Israel's Gaza operations, with high civilian casualties. Hostage negotiations show limited progress.

Biden Urges Rafah Civilian Protection as Death Toll Crosses 28,000
Source: Reuters

In a renewed plea for the safeguarding of civilian lives, U.S. President Joe Biden reiterated to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the imperative of protecting Palestinian civilians in Rafah.

This call marks the second instance within a week where President Biden has cautioned against Israeli military action in the southern region of the Gaza Strip without a comprehensive plan to ensure the safety of the approximately 1 million civilians seeking refuge there.

The White House disclosed that during their conversation, President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu also addressed ongoing hostage negotiations. President Biden reaffirmed his commitment to tirelessly work towards securing the release of hostages who have been held captive by Hamas for 132 days.

This exchange of concerns comes amidst reports of Israeli forces conducting a raid on the largest operational hospital in Gaza, raising alarms about the welfare of patients, medical staff, and displaced Palestinians sheltering within its walls.

The escalating tensions and the potential for further military incursions into Rafah have drawn international scrutiny, with President Biden previously characterizing Israel's military response in the Gaza Strip as "over the top" and expressing grave concerns over the rising civilian death toll, which crosses 28,000.

With growing international pressure on Israel to exercise restraint, President Biden's diplomatic efforts face mounting scrutiny, highlighting the challenges of brokering peace in one of the world's most protracted and volatile conflicts.