The Pentagon: Any operation in Rafah must take into account the lives of over 1 million people

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin noted that any Israeli operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah that did not account for the lives of more than 1 million people would be a "mistake", the Pentagon said.

"What we keep repeating, both publicly and privately, is that any kind of operation in Rafah must take into account the over 1 million people who are sheltered there."

"So what we have said is that it would be a mistake to continue the operation in Rafah if those lives are not taken into account," spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters.

Her remarks came after Austin and his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Galant, met at the Pentagon, where they reaffirmed their shared interest in defeating Hamas, discussed the importance of prioritizing civilians and Rafah, the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and threats to regional security.

"The Secretary emphasized that the United States and Israel have a moral imperative and a shared strategic interest in protecting the civilian population, noting that any assault on Rafah must not proceed without a credible and workable plan to ensure the safety and humanitarian support of the civilian population. which is hiding there," she said.

Austin previously called on Gallant to expand entry points for humanitarian aid and address the challenges of distributing aid inside Gaza, Singh said.

"He also reaffirmed the department's commitment to establish a temporary sea corridor to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza," Singh said./BGNES