Israel briefed White House official on plans to limit civilian harm in Rafah

Palestinians inspect boats damaged in Israeli fire, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israel updated White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on its refined plans to minimize civilian harm in Rafah when he visited the region last weekend, he said on Wednesday.

"We now have to see what unfolds from here," Sullivan told a news briefing, referring to Israel's operation in the southern Gaza city. "What we're going to be looking at is whether there is a lot of death and destruction from this operation or if it is more precise and proportional."

He said Israeli operations to date in the area have been targeted and limited.

He also said aid is flowing from a pier in Gaza to the Palestinians there, and that it was wrong for Israel to withhold funds from the West Bank.

Israel is retaliating against Hamas in Gaza - an enclave of 2.3 million people - over a brutal Oct. 7 attack by the Palestinian militants. Aid access into southern Gaza has been disrupted since Israel stepped up military operations in Rafah, a move that the U.N. says has forced 900,000 people to flee and has raised tensions with Egypt.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Writing by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Chris Reese and Cynthia Osterman)