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Vice President Kamala Harris expressed concerns about potential consequences if Israel takes military action in the southern Gazan city of Rafah, despite the Biden administration’s warnings against such a move. She emphasized the need to consider the safety of Palestinian civilians who have sought refuge in Rafah during Israel’s offensive against Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu views Rafah as a stronghold of Hamas and has indicated a willingness to proceed with a military operation there without the approval of the Biden administration.

Top Biden administration officials, including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, have stressed the importance of ensuring the safety of civilians in any potential military operation in Rafah. Harris hinted at potential consequences for Israel if they were to disregard the administration’s warnings, stating that they will address the situation step by step. President Biden initially described an invasion of Rafah as a “red line,” but later clarified that he would not cut off weapons support for Israel.

This week, a delegation from Israel is expected to meet with top officials in DC to discuss alternatives for addressing the situation in Rafah. Tensions between President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu have been evident, and tensions within the Democratic Party surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict have also escalated. Despite calls from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for new elections in Israel, Harris emphasized that the decision is up to the Israeli people.

Harris also addressed the ongoing immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border, attributing the issue to a broken immigration system that needs to be fixed. She criticized Republicans for obstructing a Senate deal intended to address the border crisis as part of a larger supplemental package including assistance for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. One bipartisan legislation passed by the House of Representatives focused on compelling ByteDance to divest from TikTok due to national security concerns related to the company’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

The bill would require ByteDance to sell off TikTok within six months to avoid being banned from major app stores. Despite national security concerns, Harris indicated that there are no plans to ban TikTok entirely, as the Biden-Harris campaign is actively present on the platform. The Senate has yet to take up the legislation, but Harris expressed support for the measures aimed at addressing potential risks associated with foreign entities accessing sensitive US data.

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