‘Can Stand Alone, Fight With Fingernails’: Netanyahu As US Prez Biden Threatens To Halt Arms


Israel-Gaza War: A day after United States President Joe Biden warned Israel that he could stop supplying some weapons to it if it launched a major ground operation in Rafah, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel can “stand alone” if needed and can fight with fingernails if necessary.

“If we need to … we will stand alone. I have said that if necessary, we will fight with our fingernails,” he said, as quoted by the BBC. The US has already halted a shipment of bombs over fears of civilian deaths. Netanyahu on Thursday, however, recalled the war of 1948 to dismiss warnings from Washington.

“In the War of Independence, 76 years ago, we were the few against the many,” he said “We did not have weapons. There was an arms embargo on Israel, but with great strength of spirit, heroism, and unity among us – we were victorious,” Netanyahu said, as quoted by the BBC. He stated that Israel had “much more than our fingernails” if the US President stopped arms shipments.

This development came hours after the UN said that more than 80,000 people had fled Rafah since Monday amid constant bombardment, BBC reported. The UN also said that food and fuel were running out for the people still sheltering in the city because aid through nearby crossings was halted.

Earlier, Israel sent tanks into the southern city of Rafah and seized the nearby crossing into Egypt, which has been a crucial entry point for aid and the only exit for people able to flee since the war began in October last year. 

On Wednesday, Joe Biden said for the first time that he would pause the supply of weapons to Israel if Netanyahu ordered a major invasion of the city of Rafah. 

In an interview with CNN, the US President acknowledged that the arms supplied by Washington to Israel has been used to kill civilians in Gaza. “Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers,” he said. “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.   

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