Senior Israeli official Ron Dermer began shouting during a meeting with US officials about Gaza, officials say. | Trending Viral hub

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WASHINGTON – A virtual meeting on Monday between the main United States and Israeli officials Discussing Israel’s plans for a ground invasion of Rafah in Gaza became contentious after the Americans rejected Israel’s proposal to evacuate Palestinian civilians sheltering there, said two US officials and a former US official familiar with the meeting. .

Ron Dermer, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, began shouting and waving his arms as he defended the plan, officials said. U.S. officials present at the meeting, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, remained calm and did not respond in kind, the officials said.

Israel presented a plan to move 1.4 million civilians over several weeks from Rafah to tents that would be set up north of the city, officials said. But the Israeli proposal did not include plans to address health needs or an assessment of how much food or water would be needed or where it would come from, officials said. They said Israeli officials had only thought about getting a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of tents that would be needed.

When U.S. officials said they did not see the idea as realistic, Israeli officials exploded, the former U.S. official and the two current ones said.

Two administration officials noted that it has long been routine for Dermer to become animated during meetings with U.S. officials and described the meeting as no more contentious than other recent talks between the two governments. One official said the meeting was productive and designed to begin a process for the United States and Israel to have a series of discussions about ways Israel could proceed in its war against Hamas, not to present detailed plans.

The two current officials and one former official said the Israelis did not present much specificity about an actual ground invasion of Rafah. Those plans are expected to be discussed in more detail during another meeting between US and Israeli officials next week.

After the initial publication of this article, an Israeli official who attended the meeting said that NBC News’ description was “a misrepresentation of what happened in the room. The meeting was constructive and respectful, even during disagreements. There were no screams at any time.”

Young Palestinians stand on a rooftop watching the destruction in Rafah, southern Gaza, on April 2, 2024, following an overnight Israeli bombing.
Young Palestinians stand on a rooftop Tuesday watching the destruction in Rafah following the Israeli bombardment overnight.Mohamed Abed / AFP – Getty Images

A National Security Council spokesman declined to comment.

After Monday’s meeting, John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, said that “the only reason for holding that meeting was to discuss our concerns about a major ground operation in Rafah and to present viable alternatives for (the Israelis) to be more precise and more specific.”

In addition to Sullivan and Blinken, the United States had the virtual meeting of more than seven senior officials from the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon. The Israeli contingent included Dermer and Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi.

The meeting was called after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled an in-person meeting that he and President Joe Biden had agreed for their teams to hold in Washington, an attempt by Netanyahu to show displeasure with the United States’ decision to abstain from voting on, rather than veto, a resolution on the war in Gaza in the United Nations Security Council.

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