Gallant Tells Sullivan Israel Will Escalate Military Operations in Rafah

Biden threatened consequences if Israel launched a major operation in Rafah but hasn't taken any action as it continues to escalate

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant made clear to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in a meeting in Israel on Monday that Israel will escalate in Rafah despite the White House’s supposed objection to a major military operation in the city.

“We are committed to broadening the ground operation in Rafah to the end of dismantling Hamas and recovering the hostages,” Gallant told Sullivan, according to a statement from the Israeli minister’s office.

President Biden has threatened consequences for Israel if it launched a major attack on “population centers” in Rafah, but he has not taken action as Israel continues to escalate its operations in the city.

The UN estimates that over 800,000 civilians out of the 1.4 million who were sheltering in Rafah have already evacuated, and aid groups are warning that the places they are going lack water supplies and other basic necessities.

The US claimed it was opposed to an Israeli plan to attack the city without accounting for the civilians but has continued to back Israel as it’s ordered evacuations with no clear place for civilians to go.

The White House said in a statement that Sullivan reiterated to Gallant and Israeli military chief Herzi Halevi the president’s “longstanding position on Rafah.” He also expressed to them and other Israeli officials the US’s “unwavering support for Israel.”

The vital Rafah border crossing also remains closed to aid shipments, and the White House said Sullivan discussed “the importance of Israel and Egypt concluding talks to reopen the Rafah crossing as soon as possible.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

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