Biden Speaks With Netanyahu, Israel Will Stand Alone

( President Joe Biden had a discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 6 in which he made it clear that the United States does not support an Israeli invasion of Rafah for humanitarian reasons. There are over 1 million Gazan people taking refuge in Rafah as Israel begins plans to attack. President Biden is encouraging a ceasefire agreement between the two countries as the best option to protect Israeli hostages.

The previous day, on May 5, Netanyahu stated confidently that Israel will not back down and will not be pressured. He indicated the actions they are taking are necessary to defend Israel from harm and if nobody supports their actions, “Israel will stand alone.”

The Israeli military began attacks on Rafah on May 6 and has overtaken the Rafah border crossing. Israel says it will get rid of Hamas in this series of attacks. On May 5, they ordered over 100,000 Palestinians to leave the east side of Rafah before beginning the attacks, which they say is a “limited operation.”

Netanyahu has said several times that Israel will attack Rafah, but the U.S. has asked for a detailed plan to prevent the unnecessary death of Palestinian civilians. As of May 6, U.S. officials have not seen a plan that would make sure civilians are protected during the attack.

The U.N. has stated that the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians is in jeopardy following Israel’s takeover of the Rafah crossing. Netanyahu and Israel believe that Rafah is where the Hamas military fighters are primarily located, so it is a prime target to force a release of the Israeli hostages or to claim victory in the ongoing war.

The latest development in negotiations is that Netanyahu has met with CIA director Bill Burns on May 8 to discuss the potential for a ceasefire. Israeli officials are expected to discuss the negotiation options at a meeting on the evening of May 8.

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