Israel had initially prepared to commence a ground offensive in Rafah this week, but the plans have been put on hold as the nation evaluates its response to Iran’s assault, according to sources briefed by CNN. Iran’s launch of 300 missiles and drones towards Israel on Sunday night has ushered in a heightened phase of tension and confrontation in the Middle East.

The attack has compelled Israel to postpone its intended offensive in Rafah, a city currently sheltering over a million people. Originally scheduled for Monday, the Israeli Air Force had planned to distribute leaflets over parts of the city. Despite this delay, Israeli officials maintain their resolve to carry out a ground offensive in Rafah, although specifics regarding civilian evacuations and the timing of the operation remain uncertain. The Israeli military has opted not to provide comment on the matter.

Despite strong pressure from the US to abandon an all-out ground invasion, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has emphasized the significance of entering Rafah in order to destroy Hamas’s last battalions. The military cabinet’s deliberations over a possible reaction to Iran’s attack are also influenced by the state of the Gaza conflict and an impending ground invasion in Rafah.
The military’s focus and resources would be diverted from Gaza, where Israel’s leadership has pledged to deliver Hamas a resounding defeat, if a military reaction was taken that could worsen the situation with Iran.

According to a White House official, Biden concentrated on stopping the Iran attack from escalating into a larger regional conflict.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, reaffirmed on Monday morning that President Joe Biden is committed to keeping the Iranian offensive against Israel from escalating into a larger regional conflict.
We shouldn’t just accept a steadily escalating escalation in the region because Iran carried out this extraordinary strike, which we, our Israeli allies, and other partners prevented. Kirby said to CNN’s Kate Bolduan this morning, “The President is not going to accept that he wants to see things de-escalate.” When asked if the White House believes that Israel shouldn’t respond, Kirby said that while the US wants to see tensions ease, the decision ultimately rests with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration.

“We honor their right to make autonomous decisions. De-escalation of hostilities is what we desire to witness. “We wish to prevent a broader conflict,” Kirby remarked.


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