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Netanyahu Defies Biden’s Warnings, Proceeds with Military Operation

Daniel Kim Views  

On the 9th, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel would carry out military operations in Rafah, the southernmost city of Palestine, independently, in response to President Joe Biden’s warning the day before.

The local Times of Israel (TOI) reported that some Israeli experts agree that while the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) likely has the ammunition it needs to attack Rafah, it could be difficult to confront the Shiite militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon if the conflict in northern Israel escalates into a full-scale war. The U.S. continues to withhold military supplies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen speaking at a Holocaust Remembrance Day memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, Israel, on the 6th of the month (local time)./AFP·Yonhap News

◇ Netanyahu: “If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone.”… “76 years ago, we were a minority in the War of Independence, but we won with great strength of spirit and unity.”

In response to Biden’s warning the day before that he would “halt the supply of weapons and bombs if Rafah is attacked,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone.”

Moreover, Netanyahu said in a video message, “76 years ago during the War of Independence, we were a minority against the majority,” and “We didn’t have weapons, and there was an arms embargo on Israel, but with great strength of spirit, heroism and unity among us – we were victorious.

He continued, “Today we are much stronger. We are determined, and we are united to defeat our enemies and those who want to destroy us,” and

“If necessary, we will fight tooth and nail. But we will have much more than just our nails.”

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) armored cars are seen ready in the southern region of Israel, bordering the Palestinian Gaza Strip, on the 9th (local time)./EPA·Yonhap News
A photo taken on the 9th (local time) of the tent village of Palestinian refugees in Al-Mawasi, near the Egyptian border of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip./AFP·Yonhap News
Palestinians are seen leaving Rafah, the southernmost city of the Gaza Strip, on a cart on the 9th (local time)./Reuters·Yonhap News

◇ IDF Spokesperson: “We have weapons for missions including Rafah”… Defense Minister: “We will achieve our goal”

Israeli media: “If there’s the northern front war and the U.S. continues to withhold weapon transportation, it may be difficult to confront Hezbollah.”

At a press briefing on the 9th (local time), IDF Head Spokesperson, Colonel Daniel Hagarie, said, “We have the weapons for planned operations, including our mission in Rafah. We have what we need.”

Yoav Gallant, the Minister of Defense who participated in the Israeli War Cabinet, also expressed his determination not to give up the Rafah operation.

Minister Gallant said at a memorial event for fallen soldiers on the day, “I turn to Israel’s enemies as well as to our best of friends and say – the State of Israel cannot be subdued. We will stand firm. We will achieve our goals. We will hit Hamas. We will hit Hezbollah, and we will achieve security.

He emphasized, “We will remember the command ‘Never Again’ that we used on Holocaust Remembrance Day, no matter the cost to ensure Israel’s survival,” and “This is not just a command for me, but an action plan. The defense authorities and the military will move according to this principle.”

The Israeli military announced in a statement that day that 150,000 civilians have so far evacuated from Rafah, and during the Rafah operation, at least 10 Hamas underground tunnels were discovered, and 50 Hamas militants were killed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) is seen hugging U.S. President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 18, 2023 (local time)./AFP·Yonhap News
U.S. Republican Senators, including Lindsey Graham (center, South Carolina), are seen holding a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on the 9th (local time), denouncing the Biden administration’s halt on the transportation of 1,800 2,000-pound (907 kg) bombs and over 1,700 500-pound (227 kg) bombs to Israel on the 7th./EPA·Yonhap News

◇ White House: “We will halt weapon support in case of full-scale war in Rafah… There are better alternatives than besides ground war to defeat Hamas.”

In this context, the U.S. White House reaffirmed Biden’s policy the day before.

John Kirby, White House National Security Communications Advisor, said in a briefing on the day, “The policy of halting weapon support in case of a full-scale war in Rafah is something the Israeli government also understands,” and “President Biden will support everything Israel needs, but certain weapons used in certain operations at certain places will not be supported.”

Kirby said, “President Biden has raised the need to improve Israel’s strategy to ensure a sustained defeat for Hamas,” and “the U.S. hopes Israel will follow through on what it says it will do to reduce the scope and scale of its attacks.”

However, he said, “The U.S. has not let go of Israel, and discussions on the Rafah issue are ongoing,” and “The U.S. believes there are better alternatives than a large-scale ground war to root out the remnants of Hamas remaining in Gaza Strip.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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