US to present alternative to planned Israeli ground operation in Rafah

A senior US official says Washington will propose alternatives for eliminating the threat of Hamas in Gaza without a planned Israeli ground offensive in the city of Rafah.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Friday that the proposal would be made to Israeli officials expected to visit Washington in a few days.

On Monday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said US President Joe Biden invited an Israeli delegation to Washington for talks during a telephone meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He said Biden expressed his deep concerns to Netanyahu over the planned operation in Rafah. Nearly 1.5 million Gazans have evacuated to the southern city.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Israel on Friday that an integrated humanitarian, military and political plan is required. He said US and Israeli officials will discuss details of what they see as the best way forward.