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

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

For weeks, the US government has been warning Israel of a major attack on the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Now that the Israeli military is advancing there, there are the first consequences.

US President Joe Biden has threatened Israel with 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 military invades densely populated parts of the city for an offensive, this will have consequences for US arms deliveries, 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 to the Israeli armed forces because of Israel’s actions in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza.

Israeli soldiers advanced into parts of Rafah in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night. 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 operation in Rafah is aimed at freeing the remaining hostages and destroying Hamas. The USA, as Israel’s most important ally, had repeatedly warned Israel’s government in recent days and weeks against a large-scale ground offensive in Rafah – Biden spoke of a “red line” in March.

Military “not yet advanced into population centers”

Now the US president argued that the Israeli military has not yet “advanced into the population centers – what they have done is right on the border.” He made it clear to Netanyahu and his war cabinet that they could not count on US support “if they actually go to these population centers.” It is “simply wrong” – and the USA cannot provide the weapons and artillery for it.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had recently confirmed that the US was already withholding an ammunition shipment to the Israeli armed forces because of Israel’s actions in Rafah. The US government made it clear from the beginning that Israel should not launch a major attack in Rafah without taking into account and protecting the civilians in the area, Austin said. While the US government is assessing the situation, the delivery of ammunition has been stopped. He didn’t give any details.

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 would contain thousands of bombs, spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said she would not comment.

In the CNN interview, Biden was asked whether civilians had been killed in Gaza with the type of US bombs whose delivery is currently on hold. 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 it clear that the US government would continue to ensure that Israel had sufficient military equipment for its own defense, such as the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Source: Stern

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