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Abbas says Israeli plan for Rafah assault aims to drive Palestinians from Gaza

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Ramallah

CAIRO (Reuters) - The office of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday a plan announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a military escalation in Rafah at the southern edge of the Gaza Strip aims to drive Palestinians from their land.

The office of Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority that exerts partial self-rule in the Israeli occupied West Bank, said it holds both the Israeli government and the U.S. administration responsible for the plan's repercussions.

The Palestinian presidency called on the UN Security Council to take heed, "because (Israel) taking this step threatens security and peace in the region and the world. It crosses all red lines," the statement said.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Writing by Adam Makary; Editing by Peter Graff)