Home Editors' Pick IDF Enters Rafah Blocking Aid to the Gaza Strip

IDF Enters Rafah Blocking Aid to the Gaza Strip

Rafah Border Crossing Closed By Idf
Rafah Border Crossing Closed By Idf

Assault began on May 7 amid rising worldwide opposition to the genocidal war

Geostrategic Analysis

In the aftermath of the attacks by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on the border crossing city of Rafah, from Gaza to Egypt, the United States administration claimed that it had paused a shipment of massive bombs to the government of Prime Benjamin Netanyahu.

This statement made largely for international consumption is an indication of the political pressure generated by the continuing resistance of the Palestinians combined with mass demonstrations across the United States and the world.

President Joe Biden and members of his administration have said for weeks that it was opposed to a full-scale ground offensive by the IDF on Rafah, an area where 1.5 million people have taken refuge seeking to avoid the massive bombing operations and ground assaults on Gaza City and Khan Younis over the last seven months. However, proponents of an immediate and lasting ceasefire say that the Biden administration is not serious about its threats to pause military assistance to the Israeli government.

Just recently, the U.S. Congress approved $95 billion more in taxpayer dollars to feed the imperialist war drives in Palestine, Ukraine, China and on the southern border with Mexico where thousands are crossing every week. Biden has stated repeatedly that the commitment of his administration to Israel remains “ironclad.”

These contradictory postures by the White House cannot conceal the critical role of the U.S. in perpetuating the genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza. The policy orientation of Washington is leading to greater instability, not just in Palestine, but internationally.

In Gaza, the Health Ministry reports say that over 35,000 people have been killed while more than 70,000 are wounded and injured. Thousands of other bodies including many women, elderly and children remain trapped under the massive rubble of destroyed residential, commercial and public structures.

An intensification of attacks on Rafah will generate even worse conditions for the civilian population already living under dire circumstances. The UN has declared that some areas in northern Gaza are coping with famine.

The IDF has already shut down and destroyed most of the hospitals in Gaza. The areas surrounding the hospitals had become humanitarian shelters for those whose homes have been destroyed by Israeli airstrikes and shelling. Many physicians over the course of the latest phase of the war have been apprehended by the IDF, interrogated, tortured and murdered.

Rafah, bordering Egypt, has been a main point of entry for humanitarian assistance to the besieged population of the Gaza Strip. The level of aid has been significantly reduced since the IDF operations began in early October 2023. Many of the employees of UNWRA, which is responsible for providing assistance to the Palestinians, have been killed. The agency, which is affiliated with the UN, has been accused by Israel and the U.S. of harboring members of the Hamas Resistance Movement in Gaza.

Therefore, in light of the massive bombing operations by the IDF along with the targeting of healthcare workers, hospitals, schools, religious institutions, food and water distribution services and neighborhoods, any objective observer of the situation in Gaza would conclude that genocide is being carried out. Meanwhile, the White House and its allies in Britain and the European Union (EU) have denied the reality that the Israeli government is deliberately forcing the Palestinian population out of the Gaza Strip while liquidating as many of them as possible.

The Biden administration has already lost several of the major constituencies within the Democratic Party electorate. The majority of the Arab and Muslim population groups in the U.S. are clearly alienated from the White House and Congress. This erosion of its electoral base has placed the administration in grave jeopardy.

Nonetheless, it is not only the Arab Americans and Islamic communities which have broken with the Biden campaign. Obviously, many youths and students are expressing their discontent with the U.S. foreign policy towards Palestine and West Asia as a whole. Significant sectors of the African American and Latin American peoples are also in solidarity with the Palestinians rejecting the official narrative that the resistance to settler-colonialism and genocide is tantamount to “terrorism.”

In an article published by the Associated Press on the siege of Rafah, it reports that:
“U.N. officials say an attack on Rafah will collapse the aid operation that is keeping the population across the Gaza Strip alive, and potentially push Palestinians into greater starvation and mass death. The Rafah crossing has a main route for aid entering the besieged enclave and the only exit for those able to flee into Egypt. Early Tuesday (May 7), Israel seized control of the Gaza side of the crossing, saying militants had staged attacks from the area. Both Rafah and Kerem Shalom, the other main aid entry point, have been closed since a Hamas mortar attack killed four Israeli soldiers. Though smaller entry points still operate, the closure is a blow to efforts to maintain the flow of food, medicine and other supplies that are keeping Gaza’s population alive. Some entry points have been opened in the north, and the U.S. has promised that a port to bring in supplies by sea will be ready in weeks. Bringing aid into Gaza through Rafah would likely be impossible during an invasion.” (https://apnews.com/article/israel-gaza-hamas-rafah-palestinians-evacuees-refugees-2f4e37cb3e40560f4980d8a70baaa81e)

Even though the White House has said it is concerned about the burgeoning humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the reality is quite different. Not only has the administration repeatedly condemned the resistance forces in Gaza, they have worked very closely with the Zionist regime to eliminate tens of thousands in the enclave and create the conditions for the forced removal of another 2.3 million Palestinians from their homeland.

Genocidal Policies and U.S. Electoral Politics

The Biden administration could very well be willing to lose the national elections rather than reign in Tel Aviv. Biden’s opponent, former President Donald Trump, has never been a friend of the Palestinian people either.

It was Trump who relocated the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in violation of international law. Biden, who has been in the oval office for over three years, has not reversed this policy.

Biden has always said he considers himself a “Zionist” uttering the false notion that the settlers occupying Palestine have nowhere else to go. The president has never expressed any sympathy with the plight of Palestinians and continues to deliver massive amounts of war materials to the Israeli government, the aggressors in the present situation.

On the eve of the 76th anniversary of Nakba, the disaster of 1948 which has resulted in the dislocation and disenfranchisement of millions of Palestinians, demonstrations against the Zionist state will be a reminder that the struggle is by no means over. Despite the unprecedented numbers of casualties among Palestinians in the last seven months, the growth of the solidarity movement has reached new heights.

In several important swing states in the upcoming presidential elections, during the primaries an important minority within the Democratic Party electorate voted “Uncommitted” as a means of expressing their discontent with the administration’s facilitation of the genocide taking place in Gaza. Opinion polls released over the last several months reveal that the election outcomes are within the margin of error.

Journalist Omar Karmi wrote in the Electronic Intifada emphasizing:
“The U.S. has plenty of options. It can implement an arms embargo on Israel. It can withdraw financial support for Israel. It can exercise its considerable power to demonstrate that it takes seriously its self-appointed role as guarantor of international order and ‘leader of the free world.’ All of this will seem unpalatable to Joe Biden, a staunchly pro-Israel president facing what by all accounts appears a close election race in November. But that is the choice he faces: Israel or everyone else.” (https://electronicintifada.net/content/biden-must-end-his-hopeless-devotion-israel/46266)

As the demonstrations around the U.S. continue for a ceasefire and solidarity with Palestine, the White House and the majority of Congressional officials are proving to be completely out of touch with important constituencies which are essential for any hope of winning Democratic control of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government beginning in 2025. Irrespective of which ruling class-dominated party wins in the November elections, many people remain committed to ending the genocide and realizing the emergence of an independent Palestinian state will continue.

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