Netanyahu defies ally Joe Biden and says Israel will ‘fight with fingernails’ if US stops arms provides | EUROtoday

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated his nation is keen to “stand alone” and “fight with our fingernails” within the warfare on Gaza, a thinly-veiled rebuttal to ally Joe Biden’s warning that the US may cease supplying him with arms.

The US president has urged Mr Netanyahu to not go forward with a deliberate floor invasion of Rafah, the place over 1.3 million Palestinians have sought refuge from Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip. The UN and assist charities say such an assault would have dire penalties for the refugees there.

The Israeli authorities had not responded to experiences that Washington was holding again a cargo of bombs till Mr Biden went public on Wednesday saying the measure was a US warning to the Israelis to not “go into Rafah”.

Mr Netanyahu responded in a press release on Thursday, saying: “If we must stand alone, we shall stand alone.

“If we must, we shall fight with our fingernails. But we have much more than our fingernails, and with that strength of spirit, with God’s help, together we shall be victorious.”

Israel has said that victory in its seven-month-old war on Gaza would not be complete without invading Rafah, where it claims thousands of Hamas fighters and potentially dozens of the hostages they seized on 7 October are located. Hamas and other allied groups are still holding some 100 of the 250 captives they took during that attack on southern Israel, as well as the remains of about 30.

The Gaza war has killed nearly 35,000 Palestinians, including 15,000 children, left most of the Strip reduced to rubble, displaced over 80 per cent of the population and pushed it to the brink of starvation. The refugees in Rafah arrived in the southern city after Israel designated it a safe area for the Palestinians facing destruction of their homes and communities in Gaza City in the north.

Israel’s top military spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, appeared to downplay the practical impact of any holdup in US arms supplies. “The army has munitions for the missions it plans and for the missions in Rafah too,” he stated, including: “We have what we need.”

In a separate interview on US tv, Mr Netanyahu advised he maintained good relations with Mr Biden however that Israel “will do what we have to”.

“We often had our agreements but we have had our disagreements. We have been able to overcome them,” he stated on the Dr Phil Primetime present.

“I hope we can overcome them now, but we will do what we have to do to protect our country.”

Responding to Mr Biden’s decision to withhold the arms shipment, Mr Netanyahu’s national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir put up a post on X with a heart emoji between the words “Hamas” and “Biden.”

He and different ultra-nationalist members of Mr Netanyahu‘s coalition want a largescale Rafah operation and have threatened to bring down the government if that doesn’t occur.

Additional reporting by companies