Benjamin Netanyahu repeats that Israel will fight, even “alone”, after Biden’s threat on arms deliveries

The Israeli Prime Minister affirmed, Thursday, May 9, the day after American threats to suspend arms deliveries to its historic ally, that if Israel had to “stand alone,” it would fight “alone,” according to a statement from his office

Benjamin Netanyahu repeats that Israel will fight, even “alone”, after Biden’s threat on arms deliveries

The Israeli Prime Minister affirmed, Thursday, May 9, the day after American threats to suspend arms deliveries to its historic ally, that if Israel had to “stand alone,” it would fight “alone,” according to a statement from his office. “If we must stand alone, we will stand alone. I have already said it, if necessary, we will fight with our nails,” added Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli army “has sufficient weapons to accomplish its mission in Rafah,” assured, for his part, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, spokesperson for the army, on Thursday.

Jewish state forces bombarded the Gaza Strip on Thursday, as the United States threatened to stop arms deliveries to Israel in the event of a major offensive in the crowded southern city of Rafah. of the Palestinian enclave, on the border with Egypt.

The United States remains opposed to any forced displacement of Palestinians amid the threat of a major military offensive by Israel in Rafah, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday in a telephone call to the Minister of Defense. Egyptian foreign affairs, Sameh Choukri.

The head of American diplomacy reaffirmed President Joe Biden's “clear position that the United States does not support a major military operation in Rafah and rejects any forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza,” said his spokesperson, Matthew Miller, reporting on the call with the Egyptian minister. Mr. Blinken “also expressed U.S. support for reopening the Rafah crossing and continuing the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance,” added Mr. Miller.

On Tuesday, the Israeli army deployed tanks into Rafah and took control of the border crossing with Egypt, blocking the main gateway for humanitarian aid convoys to the besieged Palestinian territory.

Mr. Blinken also thanked Egypt for its mediation in the talks for a ceasefire in Gaza in exchange for the release of hostages held by Hamas.

The director of the American CIA, William Burns, who was heavily involved in the talks, is returning to the United States on Friday, said a White House spokesperson, John Kirby. According to him, the parties “have not resolved” their differences, but the United States “is not giving up all hope” that the discussions will lead to an agreement. Israeli and Hamas negotiators also left Cairo after this latest round of indirect talks.

The Palestinian movement estimated early on Friday, after the departure of its delegation from Egypt, that the “ball is entirely in Israel’s court” with a view to a truce agreement in the Gaza Strip. “The negotiating delegation left Cairo heading to Doha. The occupation [the name Hamas gives to Israel] rejected the proposal submitted by the mediators which we had accepted,” the Palestinian Islamist movement said in a letter sent to other factions.

Israel responded that this proposal was "far from its demands" and repeated its opposition to a definitive ceasefire as long as Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and which it considers a terrorist organization as well as the States -United and the European Union, would not be defeated.

Israel's closure of key crossing points into the Gaza Strip has cut off the main floodgates for aid, fuel in particular, and made humanitarian operations virtually impossible, a senior UN official warned on Thursday. United Nations (UN) in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Although Israel claims to have reopened Kerem Shalom on Wednesday, Andrea De Domenico, the head of the office of the United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territories, says the delivery of aid remains "extremely difficult ".

“It’s crazy,” the Israelis “have tanks everywhere, troops on the ground, they are bombing the area east of Rafah and they want us to go get fuel or commodities” in these areas of war ? “They know we just can’t go,” says Mr. De Domenico.

The Rafah crossing, through which all fuel destined for Gaza passes, remains closed. However, “in Gaza, there are no fuel stocks.” This means that “there are no movements” and “this completely paralyzes humanitarian operations,” according to Mr. De Domenico.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, announced on Thursday evening on X that it was closing its headquarters in East Jerusalem “until security is re-established”.

“Israelis twice set fire to the perimeter of UNRWA headquarters in occupied East Jerusalem” while “UNRWA personnel and other UN agencies were present” inside , explained Philippe Lazzarini. He denounced a “second heinous incident in less than a week”, committed, according to him, by “extremists” and in which “the lives of UN employees were put in serious danger”.

“Although there were no casualties among our staff, the fire caused significant damage to outdoor areas,” the statement said. “It is the responsibility of the State of Israel, as the occupying power, to ensure that United Nations personnel and facilities are protected at all times. »

Hezbollah announced on Thursday that it had bombed an Israeli military position in response to the death of several of its members in a strike that occurred the same morning in southern Lebanon, bordering northern Israel. Four Hezbollah fighters were killed in a strike on a car in Bafliyeh, about fifteen kilometers from the border with Israel, a security source told AFP. The pro-Iranian formation confirmed the death of three of its fighters.

In a statement early in the evening, Hezbollah announced that it had targeted a military position in northern Israel using “attack drones”. He clarified that it was a response “to the assassination” of its members in Bafliyeh. Lebanese civil defense confirmed a death toll of four in the strike, and the National News Agency reported “several dead in an Israeli air strike on the road leading to Bafliyeh.”

The Israeli army, for its part, announced in a press release that northern Israel had been targeted several times from the country of Cedar and assured that it had “intercepted two drones in Lebanese territory”.

The Israeli army announced that three of its soldiers were lightly injured on Thursday in a “trapped tunnel” in Rafah, where Israeli troops have been carrying out incursions since Tuesday. “The soldiers were evacuated to hospital for treatment,” she added in a statement.