Gallant told Blinken about the “precise operation” in Rafah, after the US repeated its warning against an Israeli attack

Gallant told Blinken about the “precise operation” in Rafah, after the US repeated its warning against an Israeli attack

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken of a “precise operation” in Rafah overnight, after Washington redoubled fears of a full-scale Israeli attack on the southern Gaza city.

Gallant discussed with Blinken “developments in Gaza, including IDF operations across the Peninsula in the face of terrorism hotspots,” according to Israel’s defense ministry. Gallant also spoke about what the ministry called “precise operations in the Rafah area against the remaining Hamas battalions, while controlling the crossing.”

He reiterated the need to release the 132 hostages held by Hamas. At least 36 of them include the bodies of prisoners held in Gaza, according to the Israeli prime minister’s office.

Civilian casualties: For weeks, senior US officials have raised concerns about Israel’s planned full-scale ground assault on Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians fled Israeli bombardment.

Rows of tents were set up across the city bordering Egypt. Earlier this month, the Israeli army issued evacuation orders to the Palestinian population there to Al-Mawasi. But human rights agencies say conditions in the coastal town are uninhabitable. At least 360,000 people have left without the promise of safety, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

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