Biden Warns He Could Cease Certain Arms Supplies If Israel Attacks Rafah

US President Joe Biden publicly warned Israel Wednesday he would stop supplying artillery shells and other weapons if it attacks Rafah in southern Gaza, as he deplored the fact that civilians had been killed by the dropping of US bombs.

“If they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used… to deal with the cities,” Biden said in a televised interview with CNN.

“We’re not gonna supply the weapons and the artillery shells that have been used.”

The threat to cut artillery supplies comes after the United States confirmed on Tuesday that it had already paused a shipment of large bombs over concerns about Israel’s planned assault on Rafah, where more than a million Palestinian civilians displaced by the war are sheltering near the Egyptian border.

“Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they (Israel) go after population centers,” Biden said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to go into Rafah as part of the campaign to eliminate Hamas after the militants’ attack inside Israel on October 7.

Israel has already defied US and international objections and sent tanks into Rafah, seizing early Tuesday the key border crossing with Egypt.

When asked about Israel’s action already in Rafah, Biden said “they haven’t gone in the population centers.”

“What they did is right on the border and it’s causing problems with, right now, in terms of Egypt, which I’ve worked very hard to make sure we have a relationship and help,” he told CNN.

He promised Washington would “continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks.”

But he added that he had “made it clear to Bibi and the war cabinet — they’re not going to get our support if in fact they go in these population centers.”

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