US, Israeli officials soon to discuss alternative way to defeat Hamas in Rafah

A senior White House official says US and Israeli officials will meet in-person soon to discuss alternative ways to defeat the Islamic group Hamas in the southern Gaza city of Rafah while avoiding civilian casualties.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said "it would be a mistake to launch a major military operation" into Rafah.

He said that he believes "Israel can and must do more to ensure the protection and well-being of innocent civilians."

Sullivan also said that US and Israeli officials will "have an opportunity to talk further about the best way to ensure Hamas' defeat everywhere in Gaza, including in Rafah, in the context of that conversation."

He said that the meeting will be in-person and happen "in a matter of days, not weeks."

South Africa has accused Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and has filed a case with the International Court of Justice.

Sullivan said that the US does not believe what is happening in the strip is genocide.