Netanyahu says Israel ready to "stand alone" after US threats over Rafah

Tel Aviv, Israel - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel was prepared to "stand alone" in its war in Gaza, after Washington vowed to stop supplying some weapons if a threatened assault on Rafah goes ahead.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel was prepared to "stand alone" in its war in Gaza as the US opposes its planned assault on Rafah.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel was prepared to "stand alone" in its war in Gaza as the US opposes its planned assault on Rafah.  © Menahem KAHANA / AFP

"If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone," Netanyahu said in a statement.

The Israeli premier was reiterating comments he has made several times in the past week in the face of mounting international criticism of his conduct of the war against Hamas.

His latest comment came after President Joe Biden warned in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that he would stop some US weapons supplies to Israel if it goes ahead with a large-scale assault on Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where the United Nations says some 1.4 million people are sheltering.

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Netanyahu did not mention the US threat, but stressed in comments delivered on the eve of Israel's Independence Day, marking the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, that back then "we were few against many."

"Today, we are much stronger. We are determined and we are united in order to defeat our enemies and those who want to destroy us," he insisted. "We will fight with our fingernails. But we have much more than fingernails, and with that same strength of spirit, with God's help, together we will win."

Analysts have said that they doubt the US move will have any immediate operational impact on the war.

US has vowed to stop sending weapons if Israel attacks Rafah

Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari stressed late Thursday that the army had "enough weaponry to complete our mission in Rafah."

"The United States has helcped us in an unprecedented manner since the start of the war," he said in a televised address.

"We have our own interests, and we are sensitive to the US interests," he added.

Cover photo: Menahem KAHANA / AFP

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