Biden Gave Netanyahu the Green Light To Capture Rafah Crossing

Axios reports that Biden and Netanyahu discussed the plan on Monday

President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Israel’s plans to capture the Rafah border crossing in southern Gaza before the Israeli military launched the operation, Axios reported on Tuesday.

The report said that the operation didn’t cross Biden’s “red line,” although it’s unclear if the US has actually set red lines for Israel. US officials have said they’re opposed to a “major operation” in Rafah since it would incur huge civilian casualties. But the capturing of the border crossing will have a devastating impact on civilians since it cut off vital aid deliveries, and it’s unclear when or if they will resume.

A senior Israeli official told Axios that during the call with Netanyahu, Biden didn’t “didn’t pull the hand break on the capture of the Rafah crossing during the call.” Two US officials said Biden didn’t view the current Israeli operations as a “breaking point” in relations.

On Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the US was not opposed to the operation.

“We’ve been very consistent about our concerns of a major ground operation in Gaza that would put at great risk the refugees that are still there, and nothing’s changed about that,” Kirby said. “The Israelis have told us … that that’s not what this is.”

He said that Israel assured the US that the operation was “of limited scope, scale, and duration, and aimed at cutting off Hamas’ ability to ship arms across the Rafah border.”

Israeli tanks and soldiers took the border crossing as Israeli strikes pounded the city of Rafah, killing at least 23 Palestinians, including five women and six children.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.