Biden Threatens To Withold Military Aid To Israel If Rafah Operation Proceeds


During a rare sit-down interview, President Biden reiterated his decision to withhold military aid to Israel if the nation’s military invades Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have fled due to fighting in the north.

“If they go into Rafah — they haven’t gone into Rafah yet — if they go into Rafah, I’m not gonna be supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities,” Biden told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

“We’re going to continue to make sure that Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and the ability to respond to attacks like what came out of the Middle East recently,” the president continued. “But it’s uh, it’s just wrong. We’re not going to supply the weapons and the artillery shells that have been used.”

Israel conducted extensive ground operations in northern Gaza in the weeks following the October 7 attacks. Ground operations have been limited in Rafah, however, where a majority of the population of the Gaza Strip has fled due to fighting in the north.

As part of its pledge to “eradicate” Hamas, Israel has long hinted at a ground operation in Rafah. Despite the Israeli government’s intentions, the city has become a point of contention in recent weeks. Critics have pointed to the inflated refugee population when urging Israel not to attack, arguing that a ground operation in Rafah would constitute genocide.

Israel has claimed that operations in Rafah are essential to degrading Hamas’ military capability.

President Biden has previously stated that an Israeli offensive on the city would constitute a “red line” for his administration. Last week, the administration placed a hold on a shipment of U.S.-made ammunition to Israel, according to a report from Axios.

It was the first time since the October 7 attacks that the U.S. government halted a weapons shipment intended for the Israeli military. Israel did engage in limited operations not far from the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza last week, though Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Israel has not yet crossed Biden’s “red line.”

Las Vegas News Magazine

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