White House Claims Israel Intensifying Attacks On Hamas Will Actually Strengthen Hamas


Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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White House National Security spokesman John Kirby claimed that any Israeli offensive into Gaza would just embolden Hamas at a press briefing Thursday, The Times of Israel reported.

Kirby claimed that it was the White House’s view that any “major Rafah ground operation” would play into and strengthen Hamas “at the negotiating table” rather than Israel, The Times of Israel reported.

“If I’m Mr. Sinwar, and I’m sitting down in my tunnel… and I’m seeing innocent people falling victim to major significant combat operations in Rafah, then I have less of an incentive to want to come to the negotiating table,” Kirby added.

These statements came the day following President Joe Biden’s CNN interview Wednesday where he threatened to halt shipments of offensive weapons to Israel should they conduct operations in the populated areas of Rafah, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip, Politico reported. Biden told CNN he had communicated this view to the Israeli war cabinet, The Times of Israel reported.

Kirby observed that hostage negotiations between Hamas and Israel were still ongoing in Egypt, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Biden Admin Delaying Weapons Shipment To Israel: REPORT)

Rafah is considered by the Israeli government to be a vital prerequisite for victory against Hamas and Israeli forces have already captured the Rafah crossing. Israeli officials appeared to trade not-to-subtle digs at Biden over his statements. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant addressed “Israel’s enemies and its best friends” in a speech and proclaimed “We will stand, we will achieve our goals, we will hit Hamas, we will destroy Hezbollah, and we will bring security [to Israel],” The Times of Israel reported.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told Biden “We will fight with our fingernails if we have to” in a phone conversation Monday, a senior official told the outlet. The official reportedly said this remained the prime minister’s position. Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir made the most direct comment when he alleged that Hamas loves Biden in a tweet.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told the press that Israel already had enough munitions to carry out the missions “it is planning, and also for the missions in Rafah,” Emanuel Fabian, a Times of Israel military correspondent, tweeted.

Biden’s remarks drew criticism from across the American political aisle with Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and Democratic Sen. John Fetterman both among those denouncing the threat to withhold arms from Israel.