Israel Begins Limited Military Operations in Rafah

After weeks of signaling its intent to launch a ground incursion to destroy Hamas in its last bastion, Rafah, the IDF has begun limited operations around the area. On May 6, the IDF began distributing evacuation guidelines to civilians in eastern Rafah and subsequently took control of the Gazan side of the Egypt-Gaza border in Rafah. Even as the IDF implements extensive measures to protect civilian lives, Israel seeks to leverage military action to pressure Hamas to accept an acceptable ceasefire and hostage agreement.

The Biden administration continues to oppose, and has now begun withholding munitions for, a major Israeli military operation in Rafah, despite its vital importance for Israel’s strategic goals of defeating Hamas and recovering the hostages. The United States should instead ensure that Israel maintains an adequate supply of precision munitions, and it should make clear via a “no daylight” policy that it supports Israeli military efforts to destroy Hamas in the terror group’s last territorial holdout and recover the hostages.