Netanyahu says Israel ‘will stand alone’ if necessary after Biden threatens to withhold weapons

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video message on Thursday vowing that Israel ‘will stand alone’ to defeat Hamas, if necessary, after President Biden threatened to withhold weapon shipments to the Jewish State should Netanyahu proceed with an invasion of Rafah. 

Netanyahu echoed the 1948 Israeli war of independence in his remarks, saying that despite a weapons embargo on Israel, Israelis had fought and defeated the Arab nations who attacked the nascent Jewish state, thanks to their bravery and unity.

‘Today, we are much stronger,’ the prime minister said. ‘We are determined, and we are united in order to defeat our enemies and those who want to destroy us.’

‘If we need to stand alone, we will stand alone,’ Netanyahu continued.

Netanyahu’s remarks come a day after Biden said that he wouldn’t supply Israel with weapons to attack Rafah, Hamas’ last stronghold in Gaza, over concerns about more than one million civilians sheltering there.

‘Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers,’ Biden told CNN’s Erin Burnett in an interview released Wednesday. 

‘I made it clear that if they go into Rafah — they haven’t gone in Rafah yet — if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities — that deal with that problem,’ Biden said.

Biden clarified that the U.S. will continue sending defensive weapons to Israel, such as supplies for Israel’s Iron Dome.

Israel has ordered the evacuation of 100,000 Palestinians from the city. Israeli forces have also carried out what it describes as ‘targeted strikes’ on the eastern part of Rafah.

President Biden was criticized for pausing a weapons shipment to Israel and purportedly keeping his decision quiet until after his Holocaust Remembrance Day address, in which he compared Hamas to the Nazis. Israeli critics argue he is now backpedaling from his ironclad commitment to the Jewish state by delaying deliveries of vital precision weapons to Jerusalem.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said during an interview with Israeli Channel 12 TV news that he believed the move stemmed from political pressure on Biden from Congress, the U.S. campus protests and the upcoming election.

On Thursday, U.S. State Department spokesman Matt Miller addressed Biden’s comments and said that the U.S. will ‘always be committed to Israel’s security’ and helping the Jewish State to defend against Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and threats from other terrorist groups.

‘I’m not going to get ahead of what the president said last night. We are reviewing,’ Miller said. ‘We have paused one shipment. We are reviewing others. But as the president made clear, we will always be committed to Israel’s defense. 

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn, Benjamin Weinthal and Nicholas Kalman, along with The Associated Press, contributed to this report.

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