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Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah

President Biden said Wednesday that he would halt the shipment of U.S. offensive weapons to Israel, which he acknowledged have been used to kill civilians in Gaza, if the country moves ahead with a long-planned ground invasion of the city of Rafah - the first time he has threatened to withhold U.S. military aid and the most direct warning he has issued to Israel in the seven-month war.

"Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers," Biden told CNN, referring to 2,000-pound bombs supplied by the United States. "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 the cities."

Biden added that the United States would continue to provide Israel defensive weapons, including those for the Iron Dome anti-missile system, so it can protect itself from attacks like the one launched by Iran last month. But he made it clear that supplying offensive weapons for a major incursion into the civilian areas of Rafah was off the table.


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