Kamala Warns Of Consequences If Israel Invades Rafah

Vice President Kamala Harris warned Israel this weekend that if they were to proceed with their planned invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, there might be “consequences.”

Recently, Harris gave a wide-ranging interview to Rachel Scott, the senior congressional correspondent for ABC News. Parts of that interview aired this weekend on the “This Week” program.

In one part of the interview, Harris says:

“We have been clear in multiple conversations and in every way that any major military operation in Rafah would be a huge mistake. Let me tell you something: I have studied the maps. There’s nowhere for those folks to go.”

What Harris was referring to is the fact that many Palestinians have already fled other cities in Gaza as Israel has launched its all-out attack on the terrorist group Hamas. Some have estimated that there are about 1.4 million in the city, which lies at the southernmost point of the enclave bordering Egypt.

Israel announced a planned invasion of Rafah soon, as it seeks to completely eradicate Hamas in response to the October 7 terror attack from the group that left more than 1,200 Israelis dead and resulted in hundreds more being taken hostage.

In early March, Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, approved the Rafah invasion plan. When that was announced, President Joe Biden said he had “deep concerns” regarding the safety of the civilians that are using the city as shelter.

The health ministry in Gaza, which is run by Hamas, has said that thousands of people have died in Gaza in the nearly six months that the war has gone on.

Netanyahu said that the only way to completely dismantle Hamas at this point is to invade Rafah. Israeli forces have also insisted that they will be able to move civilians away from the battlegrounds to “humanitarian islands.”

The United States, though, has been a sharp critic of such a large planned incursion, even as it’s one of the biggest military supporters that Israel has.

During the interview, Scott pressed Harris on whether the White House would consider potential “consequences” should Netanyahu move forward with the invasion. He’s already said that he planned to do just that even as the U.S. has opposed it.

As Harris responded:

“Well, we’re going to take it one step at a time, but we’ve been very clear in terms of our perspective on whether or not that should happen.”

Scott then asked:

“Are you ruling out that there would be consequences from the United States?”

Harris responded:

“I am ruling out nothing.”

Harris also was asked about comments that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made recently, where he called for new Israeli elections. Netanyahu decried those comments as “wholly inappropriate” meddling into the politics of his country.

The vice president commented:

“I will not speak for Senator Schumer, but we are very clear that this is on the Israeli people to make a decision about when they will have an election and who, of course, they elect to lead their government. That’s for them to say.”