Conflicts: Biden threatens Israel: no weapons for major attack on Rafah

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Written By Maya Cantina
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American president Joe Biden Israel has threatened further restrictions on the supply of army equipment in the event of a large-scale military offensive in Rafah in the Gaza Strip. If the Israeli army enters densely populated parts of the city for an offensive, it will impact US arms supplies, Biden said in an interview on CNN. He would not provide the weapons for a full-scale invasion. The US government had already withheld a shipment of ammunition from the Israeli army due to Israeli actions in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza.

Israeli soldiers were in parts of Rafah on Tuesday evening Gaza Strip advanced. According to its own statements, the army also took control of the border crossing on the Palestinian side. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Rafah operation is aimed at freeing the remaining hostages and destroying Hamas. As Israel’s most important ally, the US had repeatedly warned in recent days and weeks about a large-scale ground offensive in Rafah – Biden spoke of a ‘red line’ in March.

Military personnel ‘not yet advanced into population centers’

Now the American president argued against the Israeli Army has not yet ‘penetrated the population centers – what they have done is close to the border’. He made it clear to Netanyahu and his war cabinet that they could not count on American support “if they actually went to these population centers.” It is “simply wrong” – and the US cannot provide the weapons and artillery for it.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently confirmed this USA are already withholding a shipment of ammunition to the Israeli forces due to Israel’s actions in Rafah. The U.S. government has made clear from the start that Israel should not launch a major attack in Rafah without considering and protecting civilians in the area, Austin said. While the US government assesses the situation, the supply of ammunition has been halted. He gave no details.

The White House is not releasing details

The White House was also very reserved and did not reveal any details. When asked about media reports that the shipment contained thousands of bombs, spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said she would not comment.

In the CNN interview, Biden was asked whether any civilians had been killed in Gaza with the type of American bombs whose delivery is currently suspended. Biden said: “Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a result of these bombs and other methods they use to attack population centers.”

At the same time, Biden made clear that the US government would continue to ensure that Israel has sufficient military equipment for its own defense, such as the Iron Dome missile defense system.

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