In the recent past, Egypt said that the IDF taking over the Philadelphi Corridor is a 'red line', but they've apparently been mum about it since it happened.

My question however concerns the US government's position on this matter. Asked about the putative presence of IDF troops in Rafah, National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said (a few days ago) that the IDF is not there and just taking over the Philadelphi Corridor.

Q[:] Admiral, you said — you’ve said repeatedly that the U.S. doesn’t want to see a major ground operation in Rafah, but Israeli tanks just moved into Central Rafah. How is that not a major military operation?

MR. KIRBY: Well, again, I don’t want to talk about Israeli Defense Force operations. But my understanding is — and I believe the Israelis have spoken to this — that they are moving along something called a Philadelphi Corridor, which is on the outskirts of the town, not in the town proper. That’s what the Israelis have said.

It's hard for me to say from that exchange if the White House approves of that latter move or not. So, does the White House approve of the IDF taking over the Philadelphi Corridor?

  • (Only a couple of days later, The Washington Post has disputed Kirby's assertion in re IDF [non]presence in Rafah with some satellite imagery, but that's besides the point I'm asking here.) Commented Jun 4 at 11:17
  • They are not mum - they refuse to open Rafah until Israel evacuates its forces, and Palestinians take control. There have been even recent questions about it in this SE.
    – Morisco
    Commented Jun 4 at 11:49
  • Is there any reason to think the US administration would have an official opinion on this detail? I would expect the quote in the question is the closest thing they've made to a direct comment but I don't know how to prove that.
    – Brian Z
    Commented Jun 4 at 11:53
  • @BrianZ: I'm just wondering how that squares with the US earlier declarations like ""No reoccupation of Gaza after the conflict ends. No attempt to blockade or besiege Gaza. No reduction in the territory of Gaza," Blinken said at a press conference in Tokyo." The US seems to be giving in to Netanyahu's 'facts on the ground'. Commented Jun 4 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


The IDF’s announcement regarding the Philadelphi Corridor came amid intensifying international condemnation regarding a recent strike in Rafah, which is just north of the corridor, that killed roughly 45 people. The IDF is investigating what happened, though its initial findings point to a secondary explosion as the cause of those deaths.

The White House said the tragic strike did not cross the red line set by President Joe Biden regarding Israeli operations in Rafah. Biden and his administration adamantly opposed a full ground invasion of Rafah, and Biden threatened to withhold future offensive military aid to Israel if it went ahead with one.


Well, it's hard to know if they approve or not and I am guessing they don't want to come out and say it even if they did approve it, but their operation didn't cross any red line set by Washington as they are more worried about civilian casualties and the corridor isn't considered to be a part of Rafah.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .