Politics

If Israel Goes Into Rafah’s Population Centers, I’ll Halt Weapons Used ‘To Deal With That Problem’ — It’s ‘Wrong’

During a portion of an interview with CNN set to air on Wednesday’s broadcast of “OutFront” that was aired on Wednesday’s broadcast of “The Situation Room,” President Joe Biden stated that if Israel goes into population centers in Rafah, “I’m not going to supply them the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem.” And that while Israel will still get supplies for the Iron Dome and to give them the “ability to respond to attacks” he has “made it clear to Bibi and the War Cabinet, they’re not going to get our support if, in fact, they go into these population centers.”

Host Erin Burnett asked, “I want to ask you about something happening as we sit here and speak, and that, of course, is Israel is striking Rafah. I know that you have paused, Mr. President, shipments of 2,000-pound U.S. bombs to Israel due to concern that they could be used in any offensive on Rafah. Have those bombs, those powerful 2,000-pound bombs, been used to kill civilians in Gaza?”

Biden responded, “Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers. And I made it clear that, if they go into Rafah, they haven’t gone into Rafah yet, if they go into Rafah, I’m not going to supply them the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, to deal with that problem. We’re going to continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of the Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks like what came out of the Middle East recently. But it’s just wrong, we’re not going to supply the weapons and the artillery shells that are used, that have been used –,”

Burnett then cut in to ask, “Artillery shells as well?”

Biden answered, “Yeah, artillery shells.”

Burnett then asked, “So, just to understand what they’re doing right now in Rafah, is that not going into Rafah, as you define it?”

Biden answered, “No. They haven’t gone into 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 [with] and help. But I’ve made it clear to Bibi and the War Cabinet, they’re not going to get our support if, in fact, they go into these population centers.”

The expansion to include artillery shells goes beyond the pause in bomb shipments confirmed by the Pentagon earlier in the day and comes on the heels of the President signing a bill to increase aid to Israel.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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