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Defiant Netanyahu Says Israel “Will Stand Alone” Amid White House Pressure to Cancel Rafah Operation

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, May 9, 2024. timesofisrael.com
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, May 9, 2024. timesofisrael.com

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country would continue its fight against Hamas despite increased White House pressure to temper the current conflict against the terrorist organization.

“If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone. If we need to, we will fight with our fingernails. But we have much more than fingernails,” Netanyahu said in a Thursday statement.

The defiant posture comes as the Biden administration admitted Wednesday that they had suspended a shipment of munitions to the Jewish state because they were fearful that their use would lead to civilian casualties if used in a proposed operation against the southern Gazan city of Rafah.

President Biden confirmed this policy in a CNN interview, telling Erin Burnett that “if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah.”

Netanyahu has long maintained that an incursion into the area is necessary to remove the remaining Hamas units that have been entrenched in the Palestinian municipality for several months.

IDF Spokesperson Adm. Daniel Hagari assured reporters that the Israeli military “has armaments for the missions it is planning, including missions in Rafah. We have what we need.”

On Tuesday, the IDF’s 162nd Division took control of the city’s border crossing with Egypt and a major north-south throughfare after evacuating more than 100,000 civilians.

Recent reports on the preliminary deployment have suggested that more than 50 terrorists were eliminated, and numerous logistical tunnels were discovered.

Related Story: Biden Admin Confirms and Defends ‘Pause’ in Military Assistance to Israel

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