Home News Biden says US will not provide Israel with weapons to attack Rafah

Biden says US will not provide Israel with weapons to attack Rafah

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President Joe Biden acknowledged on Wednesday that U.S. bombs are being used to kill Palestinian civilians and warned that the United States would withhold certain weapons if Israel continues to threaten attacks in southern Gaza.

In his strongest language yet on the Gaza war, Biden said the United States would still ensure Israel’s security, including the Iron Dome missile defense system and Israel’s “ability to respond to attacks.”

But he said he would block the delivery of weapons that could be fired into the densely populated area of ​​Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have taken refuge. The Israeli government says it needs access to Rafah to destroy Hamas, which launched a terror attack on Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 people.

“If they go into Rafah, I will not provide the weapons that have historically been used against Rafah, against the cities, against this problem,” Biden said in a statement. Interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett.

He added: “But this is wrong. We will not – we will not provide weapons and shells that have been used.”

Asked about the use of 2,000-pound U.S. bombs to kill civilians in Gaza, Biden said: “There are civilians being killed in Gaza because of these bombs and other ways of attacking population centers.”

Biden’s comments highlighted growing differences between the United States and its closest Middle East allies over the war in Gaza, which has killed more than 34,000 people and triggered a humanitarian crisis.America is so far largest weapons supplier Israel, Biden administration plans Report to Congress This week assesses whether Israel trusts its assurances that it uses U.S. weapons in compliance with U.S. and international law.

The president has Stop shipping 3,500 bombs were launched last week amid fears they could be used in a major attack on Rafah – the first time since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that Biden has used U.S. weapons to try to influence how the war is fought.

Biden previously rejected calls for aid to Israel, and the White House said it had No “red lines” Help Israel fight Hamas.

Mr Biden remains steadfast in his support of Israel’s right to self-defence, despite his strong opposition to the invasion of Rafah and dismay at what he once called “Israeli aggression”. Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing”“.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed U.S. warnings and said Israel would continue to root out Hamas if it has to do it alone.

Israel’s war cabinet voted unanimously this week to go ahead with the attack on Rafah, and Israeli forces warned more than 100,000 civilians to evacuate as they began so-called “targeted strikes” against Hamas.

U.S. officials said this week that Israel has said its operations in Rafah so far have been “limited” and “aimed at cutting off Hamas’s ability to smuggle weapons into Gaza,” but still expressed concern about an escalation.

Biden said he did not believe Israel’s actions in Rafah so far amounted to a full-scale invasion because they had not yet hit “population centers.”

But he said he believed they were “right on the border,” adding that they were causing problems for key allies such as Egypt, which has been integral to ceasefire negotiations and opening humanitarian aid crossings.

Biden said he had made clear to Netanyahu and his war cabinet that they would not receive support if they pushed forward in densely populated areas.

“We are not giving up Israel’s security, but we are giving up Israel’s ability to wage war in these areas,” he said.

Biden was also asked about the Gaza protests that have erupted on college campuses in recent weeks, specifically chants calling him “Genocide Joe.”

Asked if he heard the message from these young Americans, Mr. Biden said:

“Of course, I heard the news.”

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