April 13, 2024

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Destruction in Gaza as Israel wages war on Hamas: Live updates

11:49 PM ET, March 19, 2024

Netanyahu's Israeli National Security Advisor will visit Washington, D.C., to discuss the Rafah attack

By CNN's Alex Marquardt and Sahar Akbarzai

Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer (left) and Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi.

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Ron Dermer, one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest associates, and Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi are heading to Washington, D.C., to meet with US officials, according to a statement from Netanyahu's office obtained by CNN.

The statement did not mention the American officials whom the Israeli delegation would meet or when the visit would take place. The White House said it expected the visit to take place Early next week.

Dermer is currently a member of the Israeli Defense Cabinet and a former ambassador to the United States.

The United States called on Israel to clarify how it intends to maintain the safety of more than a million Palestinians seeking asylum in the southern Gaza Strip, at a time when Israel warns that it will soon launch a military attack on Rafah. So far, the administration of US President Joe Biden says that no plan has been presented.

America wants alternatives to Rafah: On Monday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters that Biden had asked Netanyahu to send a team to Washington “to listen to US concerns about current Israeli planning for Rafah and to develop an alternative approach that targets key Hamas elements in Rafah and secures the Rafah crossing into Egypt.” – Gaza borders without a major ground invasion.

But the Israeli statement on Tuesday said that Netanyahu “is determined to move in Rafah in order to completely eliminate the remaining Hamas brigades, while providing humanitarian solutions to the civilian population.”

The statement stated that the Israeli delegation will be accompanied by a representative – whose name was not mentioned – to coordinate the actions of the Israeli government in the territories.

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