FP4A Commends President Biden for Holding To His Red Line on Rafah

May 8, 2024

FP4A Commends President Biden for Holding To His Red Line on Rafah

Washington, D.C. – Foreign Policy for America (FP4A) is alarmed by the recent Israeli incursion into Rafah and Israel’s closure of the Kerem Shalom and Rafah border crossings used for delivering humanitarian aid.

We thank President Biden for his strong opposition to an Israeli operation in Rafah. The city is the last remaining refuge for 1.3 million Palestinians, the vast majority of whom have already been displaced from their homes further north. In the absence of a credible plan to safely evacuate civilians, such an operation would lead to enormous loss of life.

As Israel takes steps to begin that operation, the Biden Administration has paused the transfer of some offensive weaponry that could be used in Netanyahu’s Gaza campaign. This is the right course of action.

Secretary Blinken has said that the United States’ highest priority in Gaza is protecting civilians, surging humanitarian assistance, and ensuring the security of those who provide it. We are grateful for his leadership and tireless diplomacy. The head of the World Food Program Ambassador Cindy McCain said Friday that “full-blown famine” is present in Northern Gaza and may soon be present in the South.

The Biden Administration’s National Security Memorandum 20, issued on February 8, 2024, requires the Secretary of State to positively assess the credibility of assurances from all countries receiving U.S. military aid that they are abiding by international law and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid. An Israeli assurance of humanitarian access cannot be considered credible in light of its ongoing actions that have restricted the delivery of American humanitarian assistance.

We also commend CIA Director Bill Burns and his Egyptian and Qatari counterparts for their painstaking efforts to bring about a negotiated ceasefire that results in the release of the hostages.

Since October 7th, the United States and international community have called for Hamas to immediately and unconditionally release all hostages. In the coming days, if the current situation persists, the U.S. should join with other countries in calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in order to safely surge aid to Palestinians at risk of starvation.