Photo Credit: Erin Scott / White House
US Vice President Kamala Harris looks on as President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a reception for new members of Congress on Jan. 24, 2023, in the East Room of the White House.

US Vice President Kamala Harris warned Sunday that an impending IDF operation to defeat remaining Hamas battalions in Rafah would be “huge mistake” and refused to rule out consequences if Jerusalem fails to heed the Biden Administration’s orders.

“We have been clear in multiple conversations and in every way that any major military operation in Rafah would be a huge mistake,” Harris said in an interview on the ABC News program, “This Week.”


“I have studied the maps. There’s nowhere for those folks to go. We’re looking at about a million and a half people in Rafah who are there because they were told to go there, most of them,” she said.

Of course, if Harris had actually studied the maps, she would have noticed the big, empty, land mass known as the Sinai, that could easily serve as a safe haven, or a temporary stopover on the way to Turkey, Qatar, Europe and Canada.

When asked if there could be consequences if Israel presses ahead with plans to invade Hamas’s last remaining stronghold, Harris said, “We’re going to take it one step at a time, but we’ve been very clear in terms of our perspective on whether or not that should happen.”

When pressed further on the matter, she added, “I am ruling out nothing.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that IDF troops would enter Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip with or without support from the United States.

“There were times we agreed with our friends, and there were times we did not agree with them,” the premier said. “Ultimately, we always did what was necessary for our safety, and we will do so this time as well.”

During a phone call with Netanyahu on Monday, US President Joe Biden stated that he could not support a major military offensive against Hamas in Rafah. Instead, the White House favors a limited operation aimed at high-value targets and securing the Gaza-Egypt border.

Netanyahu confirmed Wednesday he had already approved the IDF’s operational plans for Rafah and said he would “soon” green light an outline for the evacuation of noncombatants from the city.

On Friday, Netanyahu reiterated the message during a meeting in Tel Aviv with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“I told [Blinken] that I hope we would [go into Rafah] with U.S. support but if necessary, we will do it alone,” Netanyahu said.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant departed Israel on Sunday for talks in Washington DC at the invitation of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

While in Washington, Gallant is also expected to meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.


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