Netanyahu Promises to Ignore Biden and Invade Rafah Anyway

President Joe Biden has been hinting to Israel for the past few weeks that he is against the Jewish state’s troops occupying Rafah, which is the terrorist organization Hamas’ final bastion in the Gaza Strip. After Obama eventually came clean and declared that an attack on Rafah would be a “red line,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now replied, making it plain that even though the US is Israel’s partner, it does not have the authority to issue commands.

During a conversation with MSNBC on March 9th, President Biden expressed his reluctance towards any military action in Rafah, a city close to the Gaza-Egypt border. With its population surging from 172,000 to around 1.4 million due to refugees, Biden labeled any Israeli incursion into this region as crossing a “red line.”

Following his initial statement, Biden promptly provided clarification, underscoring his steadfast backing of Israel and confirming ongoing missile supplies for the Iron Dome defense system. Despite the potential leverage of a weapons embargo, which is the primary means of influence Biden possesses over Israel, its effectiveness is constrained. 

While the Israeli military heavily depends on US-manufactured arms, the nation maintains a substantial domestic arms sector and plays a significant role as an arms exporter. Israel has navigated periods without US weaponry before and retains the capability to do so again if required. However, the President’s comments were perceived as overly assertive by Israel’s conservative Prime Minister.

In an interview with German media outlet Axel Springer on March 10, Netanyahu recalled the October 7 slaughter carried out by Hamas, which sparked the present conflict. He declared that it made no difference to him if Biden agreed with Rafah’s occupation and added, “We’ll go there.” 

Israel has insisted since the start of the conflict that Hamas must be driven out of Gaza. If the terrorist organization backed by Iran remains in control of the region, it will be able to launch more attacks into Israel and carry on the years-long rocket barrage it has been launching since taking control of the region in 2006. Netanyahu is committed to eliminating Hamas in Rafah, whether Biden agrees or not, since Israel cannot bear another threat to its west as Hezbollah, located in Lebanon, continues to put pressure on the country’s northern border.




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