JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel was prepared to “stand alone” in its war in Gaza, after Washington vowed to stop supplying some weapons if a threatened assault on Rafah goes ahead.

“If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

The Israeli premier was reiterating comments he has made several times in the past week in the face of mounting international criticism of his conduct of the war against Hamas.

His latest comment came after US President Jo Biden warned in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that he would stop some US weapons supplies to Israel if it goes ahead with a large-scale assault on Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where the United Nations says some 1.4 million people are sheltering.

Netanyahu did not mention the US threat, but stressed in comments delivered on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day, marking the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, that back then “we were few against many”.

Netanyahu says he will fight any sanctions on army battalions

“Today we are much stronger. We are determined and we are united in order to defeat our enemies and those who want to destroy us,” he insisted.

“We will fight with our fingernails. But we have much more than fingernails and with that same strength of spirit, with God’s help, together we will win.”

Analysts have said that they doubt the US move will have aby immediate operational impact on the war.

Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari stressed late Thursday that the army had “enough weaponry to complete our mission in Rafah”.

“The United States has helped us in an unprecedented manner since the start of the war,” he said in a televised address.

“We have our own interests and we are sensitive to the US interests,” he added.

The Gaza war began with Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Hamas also seized some 250 hostages, of whom Israel estimates 128 remain in Gaza, including 36 officials say are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,904 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.


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