Biden won’t supply Israel with weapons for Rafah offensive

US President Joe Biden has threatened Israel with further restrictions on the supply of military equipment were Israel to carry out a major military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

“I made it clear that if they (Israel) 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 told broadcaster CNN in an interview, stressing “they haven’t gone in Rafah yet”.

On Wednesday, the US said it paused a large shipment of weapons to Israel amid ongoing concerns in Washington about military operations in the southern Gaza city.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said it had been clearly communicated to Israel that the US government did not support Israel’s long-threatened all-out offensive in Rafah, the southern city in the Gaza Strip that is seen as the last place of refuge for civilians in the territory.

He said the Israeli side has yet to present a credible plan that guarantees both the protection of the civilian population in Rafah and their access to humanitarian supplies.

Israel describes Rafah as the last major Hamas stronghold in Gaza.

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