Israel-Gaza War: Biden Warns Netanyahu Of Losing US Support If Rafah Is Invaded, Says ‘No More Weapons….’ | World News

In a first since its war in Gaza, US President Joe Biden publicly warned Israel on Wednesday that if Israeli forces launched a significant assault of Rafah, a city packed with refugees in southern Gaza, the US would cease providing it with weapons. In an interview with CNN, Biden stated, “I made it clear that if they go into Rafah…, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities – that deal with that problem.”

In an attempt to prevent an Israeli attack on Rafah, Biden used his strongest language in public to date in his remarks, which also highlighted the widening divide between the United States and its most powerful Middle Eastern ally. Biden acknowledged that U.S. bombs provided to Israel have killed Gaza civilians in the seven-month-old offensive aimed at annihilating Hamas.

Biden’s comments, his starkest to date, increase the pressure on Israel to refrain from a full-scale assault on Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have sought refuge after fleeing combat farther north in Gaza.

There was no immediate comment from Israel on Biden’s remarks, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Rafah operation would go ahead. Israel says it must hit Rafah to defeat thousands of Hamas fighters it says are there.

Biden has faced pressure from his Democratic colleagues and growing campus protests to prevent Israel from invading Rafah. His support for Israel has become a political liability as the president seeks re-election.

The United States is by far Israel’s largest supplier of weapons, and deliveries accelerated following the Hamas attacks on October 7, which triggered Israel’s offensive in Gaza. Biden stated that the United States would continue to provide weapons for Israel’s defence, such as the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

On Wednesday, US officials confirmed that the delivery of bombs to Israel had been halted due to the risk to civilians in Gaza. Israel, meanwhile, continued tank and aerial strikes on southern Gaza after moving in via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Tuesday, cutting off a vital aid route.

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