Blinken to visit Israel amid tensions over plan to invade Rafah

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to make a quick stop in Israel on Friday, according to the State Department, as the Biden administration pushes Israeli leaders to take a pinpoint approach to battling Hamas in the packed city of Rafah in southern Gaza to avoid what it warns could be humanitarian catastrophe. Tensions are rising between the United States and Israel over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to invade Rafah, which is crowded with nearly 1.5 million displaced Palestinians. The Israeli military said Wednesday that it was continuing its raid on al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where people said they were trapped in dire conditions.

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