Israeli Forces Now Operating in Most Areas of Rafah

The IDF also said it had completed its objectives in north Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp

On Friday, the Israeli military said it had expanded its operations to the central area of Rafah. Before the assault on the city, Rafah served as a refuge for over one million displaced Palestinians.

The Associated Press reported that the Israeli military confirmed its forces were now fighting throughout most of Rafah. President Joe Biden claimed that if Israel attacked the population centers in the city without a plan for the civilians living there, it would cross his “red line.”

However, as Israeli troops continue to push into the city, killing hundreds in the process and forcing over one million to flee, Biden administration officials have asserted that Tel Aviv has not crossed the red line.  After Israel used a US bomb to kill 45 people living in a tent camp in Rafah, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, “As a result of this strike on Sunday, I have no policy changes to speak to.”

The assault on Rafah has pushed the overall death toll to over 36,000, including tens of thousands of women and children. The IDF has also sustained losses in Rafah, increasing the number of soldiers killed to 289 since October 7.

As Israeli forces are pushing deeper into Rafah, the IDF announced the end of weeks of operations in the Jabalia refugee camp, located in northern Gaza. Tel Aviv initially devastated the city in the early months of the war on Gaza, but its forces returned in May. During the operations, the IDF dropped over 200 bombs.

The attacks on Jabalia and Rafah have caused aid deliveries into Gaza to plummet. Trucks crossing into the Strip in May decreased by two-thirds. This week, two Biden administration officials resigned in part because of the Israeli imposed restrictions on aid deliveries into Gaza and the lack of a response from the White House.

A letter signed by 19 aid agencies released on Tuesday warned that the lack of aid was increasing the risk of death due to starvation and disease. “As Israeli attacks intensify on Rafah, the unpredictable trickle of aid into Gaza has created a mirage of improved access while the humanitarian response is in reality on the verge of collapse,” it says. “Aid agencies now fear an acceleration in deaths from starvation, disease and denied medical assistance.”

While many are on the brink of death, Tel Aviv says it will not sign on to an agreement that would bring the war to a close and Israeli hostages freed. On Thursday, Hamas officials said the group was willing to come to a “complete agreement” that ends the conflict and frees the hostages. On Friday, the Israeli government told the families of the hostages that Tel Aviv was unwilling to end the conflict in exchange for the release of their relatives.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.