Blinken urges Israel to think again about Rafah operation

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on Israel to think again about its military operation in Rafah in southern Gaza, as the people it is going after are "so closely embedded with civilians."

Blinken made the comments at a news conference in Moldova on Wednesday. His remarks came after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah at the weekend. Health authorities in the enclave say dozens of people were killed.

The secretary said: "The incident a couple days ago was horrific. I don't think anyone who has seen the images cannot be deeply affected by them just on a basic human level."

He said that even targeted attacks designed to deal with terrorists "can have terrible, horrific, unintended consequences."

Blinken urged Israel to reconsider whether such attacks are appropriate. He said that Israel should consider the outcomes it gains from military operations and compare them to the civilian losses.

He also stressed the importance of a post-conflict plan for governance in Gaza. He said there is a need for a clear plan that "can actually help ensure the enduring defeat of Hamas", and that "accounts for rebuilding the lives of the Gazan people."