Joe Biden threatens to cut off weapon supplies if Israel tries to invade Rafah - Hindustan Times
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Joe Biden threatens to cut off weapon supplies if Israel tries to invade Rafah

May 09, 2024 07:10 AM IST

US President Joe Biden draws a red line for Israel on Rafah invasion, vows to halt weapon supply if Netanyahu goes forward with Invasion.

President Joe Biden is going to stop supplying the Israelis with weapons if they try to invade Rafah, Hamas' last, really strong stronghold in Gaza.

While continuing support for defensive systems like Iron Dome, Joe Biden stresses the need to avoid targeting population centers and maintain relations with Egypt. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)(AP)
While continuing support for defensive systems like Iron Dome, Joe Biden stresses the need to avoid targeting population centers and maintain relations with Egypt. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)(AP)

On Wednesday, Biden quoted to CNN’s Erin Burnett, “Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers.”

“I made it clear that if they go into Rafah – they haven’t gone in Rafah yet – 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.”

Biden reaffirmed that the US will be supplying Israel with defensive weaponry, such as resources for the Iron Dome system.

The president told CNN, “We’re going to continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks that came out of the Middle East recently,” and added, “But it’s, it’s just wrong. We’re not going to – we’re not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells.”

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Israel is yet to cross Biden's red line

For Israel, actions in Rafah have already taken place. However, that has not crossed Biden’s red line yet, as he said, which is posing a direct threat to population centres.

He expressed, “They haven’t gone into the population centers. What they did is right on the border. And it’s causing problems with, right now, in terms of – with Egypt, which I’ve worked very hard to make sure we have a relationship and help.”

“I’ve made it clear to Bibi and the war cabinet: They’re not going to get our support, if in fact they go on these population centers.”

Republicans reproached Biden after finding that his administration had stagnated arms shipments to Israel before Congress passed the foreign aid budget, although it had established it.

With anti-Israel campaigns tended to be at the centre of social life in the country, especially on college campuses, with the “Genocide Joe” slogan being a typical example.

The Israel-Gaza conflict has taken on a significance role as regards the upcoming presidential vote, with anyone who supports either side instantly being written off as a fanatic. Biden’s policies have drawn scorn from progressives and the left for his willingness to give succour to Israel, resulting in voters in critical battleground states like Michigan threatening to abstain in November or vote for someone else.

ALSO READ| Israel-Hamas war: South Gaza hospitals have only three days' fuel left, says WHO

The 46th US president nodded his head and said “absolutely” when asked if he heard the slogan of college protesters.

Biden clarified, “There's a legitimate right to free speech and protest. There's a legitimate right to do that. There's not a legitimate right to use hate speech. There's not a legitimate right to threaten Jewish students. There's not a legitimate right to block access to class. That's against the law.”

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