The United States said on Tuesday that it did not believe Israel’s attacks on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza constituted a major ground operation that crossed any red lines, The Guardian reported.

On Sunday, Israel conducted air strikes on a tent camp crowded with displaced Palestinian civilians. The air strikes led to a fire that killed at least 45 people, according to local health authorities.

Addressing reporters on Tuesday, White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said that images from the aftermath of the strike were heartbreaking and horrific, the BBC reported.

“The Israelis have said this is a tragic mistake,” Kirby said.

He said that the United States was closely monitoring an investigation started by Israel into the strike, adding that Washington was not turning a “blind eye” to the plight of Palestinian civilians.

On Tuesday, Israeli tanks were seen near the al-Awda mosque, a landmark in the central area of Rafah, reported The Guardian.

However, Kirby said on Tuesday that Israel was conducting operations mostly in a corridor on the outskirts of Rafah.

“We don’t want to see a major ground operation in Rafah that would really make it hard for the Israelis to go after Hamas without causing extensive damage and potentially a large number of deaths,” the White House communications advisor said. “We have not seen that yet.”

On May 8, US President Joe Biden said he would halt a portion of American weapon shipments to Israel if it went ahead with its plan to invade the southern city of Rafah in Gaza.

In such a scenario, the United States would continue providing defensive weapons to Israel but would stop supplying other arms, Biden said.

Rafah was considered the last refuge for Palestinians in Gaza. It was also the main point of entry for fuel before the Israeli military captured the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

On May 13, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s National Security Advisor, said that the United States does not believe that a genocide is taking place in Gaza, but Israel must do more to protect Palestinian civilians.

Israel’s war on Gaza has been ongoing for over seven months. The war began after Palestinian militant group Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 people. The militant group had also taken over 200 people hostage.

A hundred of those hostages are still believed to be alive and in Gaza, according to Al Jazeera. Some of the hostages were released in November as part of a brief ceasefire agreement and others were killed as a result of the war.

Since October, Israel has been carrying out unprecedented air and ground strikes on Gaza. The attacks have killed at least 36,200 persons, including over 15,000 children.