A young woman at a displaced persons camp near Rafah in Gaza (AP)

EA on Monocle Radio: Is Israel Choosing Rafah Invasion Over A Ceasefire in Gaza?

I joined France 24 English and Al Jazeera English’s Inside Story on Thursday to analyze the likelihood of Israel’s invasion of Rafah, where around 1.4 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million population are sheltering.

Watch AJE’s Inside Story

A panel discussion begins with the warning by US President Joe Biden that American military aid to Israel could be suspended if there is a “major ground offensive”. Would the Biden Administration, which has given political and military space to Israel for its attacks on Gaza, follow through? And will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insist on an invasion anyway?

The other panellists are Professor Menachem Klein of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University and Tahani Mustafa of the International Crisis Group.

An American official has acknowledged that Israel already has enough of these US weapons — including 2000-lb. and 500-lb. bombs — to go into Rafah if it wants to.

The cold, hard fact is that the initiative is not with Washington. It is still with the Israeli War Cabinet.

But I emphasize that an invasion is not a foregone conclusion because of the “diversity of opinion within Israel”.

Watch France 24 English

The discussion focuses on the humanitarian situation of the Gazans threatened in Rafah. I explain why, even if Israel’s call for departure from the city was heeded, there is no guarantee of their safety or easing of their deprivation.

Israel’s airstrikes are not being carried out in a controlled fashion, so you are at risk of being struck.

If you do manage to get out, will you have shelter, sufficient food, sufficient supplies? And will aid reach you when more than 200 humanitarian workers have been killed?