Antony Blinken and Yoav Gallant
Antony Blinken and Yoav GallantAriel Hermoni, Defense Ministry

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Monday in Washington with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement after the meeting that Blinken “reiterated the United States’ support for ensuring the defeat of Hamas, including in Rafah, while reiterating opposition to a major ground operation in Rafah that would further jeopardize the welfare of the more than 1.4 million Palestinian civilians sheltering there.”

“The Secretary underscored that alternatives exist to a major ground invasion that would both better ensure Israel’s security and protect Palestinian civilians. Secretary Blinken also discussed the need to immediately surge and sustain additional humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of civilians in Gaza,” the statement added.

Earlier on Monday, Gallant met US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the White House for a meeting which lasted over 90 minutes.

The meetings with Sullivan and Blinken are two in a series of meeting planned for Gallant's trip to Washington.

The US administration has repeatedly stressed its opposition to an Israeli operation in Rafah. Blinken, who visited Israel just this past Friday, reiterated that the Biden administration opposes an Israeli operation in Rafah.

“We share Israel’s goal of defeating Hamas, which is responsible for the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust. And we share the goal of ensuring Israel’s long-term security. As we’ve said, though, a major military ground operation in Rafah is not the way to do it,” he told reporters at Ben Gurion Airport.

White House spokesperson John Kirby later said, "We believe a major ground offensive [in Rafah] is a mistake" and would be a "disaster".

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday told ABC News that she would not rule out "consequences" if Israel carried out a military operation in Rafah.