Biden Says US Will Not Provide Israel With Weapons for Rafah Offensive

Biden Says US Will Not Provide Israel With Weapons for Rafah Offensive

( – The United States is the largest military supplier in the world, accounting for nearly 42% of global arms sales. It has an agreement to provide a minimum of $3.8 billion in military aid per year to Israel. Yet, President Joe Biden recently made it clear that he will not help the Jewish state perpetrate an assault on Rafah.

On Wednesday, May 8, Biden spoke with CNN and said that while the US remains committed to helping Israel defend itself, it would not “supply the weapons and artillery shells used” for an offensive Rafah. He said that Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have used American weapons to kill citizens in Gaza, particularly the controversial 2,000-pound bombs the US sends overseas. Still, he wouldn’t support their use in Rafah. More than 1 million Palestinians are currently seeking refuge in the city after being displaced.

This policy stand marks a notable shift for Biden, who continues to face significant pressure to stop the supply of munitions that have killed more than 30,000 and injured more than 70,000 in Gaza. Initially, he unconditionally supported Israel’s right to defend itself following the attack from Hamas back in October. However, with Palestinians facing a humanitarian crisis, he has been taking an increasingly critical stance to Israel’s approach.

Biden said that the US is “not walking away from Israel’s security” but rather is “walking away from Israel’s ability to wage wars in those areas” where civilians could face devastating collateral damage, an effort he says is “just wrong.”

News broke earlier this week that the Biden Administration had reportedly halted a shipment of 3,500 bombs to the Jewish state, prompting backlash from Israeli officials, including Netanyahu. Tensions between the two leaders have continued to rise, particularly with Netanyahu refusing to agree to a ceasefire that would allow aid deliveries to Gaza and hostage releases. Instead, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has undertaken a mission to eradicate Hamas and said he won’t stop until IDF forces finish the job, even if Israel must “stand alone.”

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