White House: No policy change after Rafah strike

White House: No policy change after Rafah strike

The Biden administration will take “great interest” in the findings of Israel’s investigation into the tragic incident, said National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

The Biden administration has made no policy changes in the wake of Israel’s airstrike in Rafah on Sunday night, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press briefing, Kirby noted that the investigation into the incident was ongoing.

“As a result of this strike on Sunday, I have no policy changes to speak to. It just happened,” Kirby told reporters. “The Israelis are going to investigate it. We’re going to be taking great interest in what they find in that investigation. And we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Two senior Hamas terrorists responsible for Judea and Samaria terror operations were killed in the precision strike on a compound in Tal as-Sultan in northwest Rafah. According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, dozens of noncombatants were killed and wounded.

Israeli officials reportedly told the Biden administration that shrapnel may have ignited a fuel tank, starting a fire that engulfed tents housing displaced Gazans.

On Tuesday afternoon, IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told reporters that “our munition alone could not have ignited a fire this size…We used the smallest munition that our jets can use.”

Palestinians inspect damage after an Israeli airstrike west of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, May 27, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
(source: JNS)

“The fire that broke out was unexpected and unintended. This was a devastating incident that we did not expect. We’re investigating what caused this fire,” Hagari said, stressing that the strike targeted a “closed” terrorist structure almost a mile from the Al-Mawasi Humanitarian zone.

“There may have been weapons in the area. Our signals intelligence intercepted phone calls reinforcing this possibility that weapons stored in a nearby compound caught fire,” said Hagari.

He assured that the “investigation will be swift, comprehensive and transparent. Our war is against Hamas, not the people of Gaza. This is why we convey deep sorrow over this loss of life.”

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