Biden warns of red line on Rafah, saying if Israel attacks population centers, he won’t supply weapons ‘historically’ utilized

President Joe Biden indicated that he warned Israeli officials that they will not receive U.S. support if they wage war in population centers in Rafah.

Israel has been at war in response to heinous attacks perpetrated by terrorists last year who perpetrated slaughter, kidnapping, and rape. The Jewish state is aiming to ensure its security and recover those taken captive.

Biden said the U.S. isn’t “walkin’ away from Israel’s security,” but from its “ability to wage war in those areas.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has noted, “With the consent of the War Cabinet, I directed [that the IDF] act in Rafah. They raised Israeli flags at the Rafah Crossing and took down the Hamas flags. The entry into Rafah serves two of the main objectives of the war: Returning our hostages and eliminating Hamas.”

During an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett, Biden said that if Israel enters Rafah, he will not provide weapons that have “historically” been employed to “deal with Rafah.” The U.S. will seek to ensure Israel is secure as it pertains to the Iron Dome and its ability to react to attacks, Biden said. But he noted that he has warned Netanyahu and the war cabinet that they will not receive U.S. support if they enter population centers. Biden said the U.S. isn’t “walkin’ away from Israel’s security,” but from its “ability to wage war in those areas.”

“So it’s not over your red line yet?” Burnett asked.

“Not yet,” Biden said, adding that the U.S. has “held up” a weapons shipment.

U.S. Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin has said that the U.S. “paused one shipment of high … payload, uh, munitions.”

Some, including Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, have accused Israel of perpetrating a “genocide.”

“It’s no coincidence that immediately after our government sent the Israeli apartheid regime over $14 billion with absolutely no conditions on upholding human rights, Netanyahu began a ground invasion of Rafah to continue the genocide of Palestinians—with ammunition and bombs paid for by our tax dollars,” Tlaib said in a statement. “For months, Netanyahu made his intent to invade Rafah clear, yet the majority of my colleagues and President Biden sent more weapons to enable the massacre.”

Left-wing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement, “Given the unprecedented humanitarian disaster that Netanyahu’s war has created in Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of children face starvation, President Biden is absolutely right to halt bomb delivery to this extreme, right-wing Israeli government. But this must be a first step. The U.S. must now use ALL its leverage to demand an immediate ceasefire, the end of the attacks on Rafah, and the immediate delivery of massive amounts of humanitarian aid to people living in desperation.”

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