Israeli Defense Minister Gallant says Israel will expand Rafah operation

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says his country has a "duty" to expand the ground operation in the Gaza city of Rafah. He and his delegation shared their plans on Monday in Tel Aviv with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Gallant told Sullivan that it is a "moral obligation" to dismantle Hamas as a governing and military authority. He said his troops must bring home the hostages held by Hamas.

Officials in the Biden administration have warned against actions that risk mass casualties. Gallant said his forces are operating in a "precise manner," to avoid civilian harm.

Members of Gallant's delegation said they are making efforts to evacuate civilians while helping to provide humanitarian services. United Nations officials estimate that more than 810,000 people have fled Rafah in the past two weeks. They warn that every time families are displaced, their lives are at "serious risk."

Civilians have been told to go to areas the Israeli authorities call "safe zones," including the city of Khan Younis. However, some who have fled there say there is not enough food or water.