Operation in Rafah
Operation in RafahIDF Spokesperson's Unit

US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Wednesday that the administration continues to have "concerns about a potential Rafah operation."

Miller told reporters that the US demonstrated that it is committed to Israel's security, but has "very serious concerns about a Rafah operation and what that would mean for the civilian population there."

"We also have concerns about the impact of any potential operation on the delivery of humanitarian assistance," Miller added, while confirming that the administration has "paused one shipment of near-term assistance," and is "reviewing others."

"That said, our long-term commitment to Israel security has not changed," Miller stressed.

The spokesperson claimed, "We do not believe Israel has presented a credible humanitarian plan that would account for the potential harm to civilian life in such a crowded area, or for properly evacuating and caring for the over-one-million people that are there. We just don't believe it's possible to move them into other places in Gaza or a plan to take care of them even if they were.”

Miller’s comments came a day after a senior US administration official confirmed that the US had paused a shipment of bombs to Israel last week over concerns that Israel was approaching a decision on launching a full-scale assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

The shipment which was paused was supposed to consist of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs, according to the official, with the focus of US concern being the larger explosives and how they could be used in a dense urban setting.

The US has long been vocal in its opposition to an Israeli operation in Rafah. On Sunday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. A Pentagon statement released after the call said that Austin “stressed the need for any potential Israeli military operation in Rafah to include a credible plan to evacuate Palestinian civilians and maintain the flow of humanitarian aid.”

Those comments were a reiteration of comments made by Austin during a conversation with Gallant last week.

On Wednesday, Kan News reported that the United States has warned Israel not to expand its military operations in Rafah.

According to the report, Israel made clear to the Americans that preventing the delivery of precise munitions can harm the military effort, strengthen Hamas, and therefore may threaten a deal for a ceasefire and hostage release.