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Biden says US won’t supply weapons for Israel to attack Rafah, in warning to ally

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said that he would not supply offensive weapons that Israel could use to launch an all-out assault on Rafah — the last major Hamas stronghold in Gaza — over concern for the well-being of the more than 1 million civilians sheltering there.

https://apnews.com/article/israel-weapons-shipment-us-eed365ebef0477ba74bf9848cacae4f4?

Biden's red line

President Biden told CNN's Erin Burnett in Racine, Wis., that the U.S. will stop sending Israel offensive weapons if it invades the Gaza city of Rafah, Axios' Barak Ravid writes.

  • Why it matters: Biden drew a red line of restraint for Israel, a red line of differentiation with Republicans and a red line of split with hawkish Democrats.

🖼️ The big picture: More than a million Palestinians have taken refuge in Rafah in recent months.

  • The Biden administration opposes a broad Israel Defense Forces ground operation in Rafah that would not include a credible plan to protect civilians.
  • The administration has already put on hold a weapons shipment to Israel that included 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs, a senior U.S. official told Axios.

State of play: Israeli forces took control of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt and began evacuating the population from several neighborhoods in the area. But the IDF didn't enter the city itself.

  • Biden told CNN the IDF's actions so far haven't crossed the red line he set.

The president noted that civilians in Gaza were killed as a result of Israel's use of U.S.-made bombs in populated areas.

  • "I made it clear that if they go into Rafah — they haven't gone into Rafah yet — if they go into Rafah, I'm not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities," Biden said.
  • "We're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells," Biden said, adding later: "We're not walking away from Israel's security. We're walking away from Israel's ability to wage war in those areas."

Full interview: 17-min. YouTube.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Netanyahu on US threat to withhold arms: Israel will fight with its ‘fingernails’ if needed

JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that a U.S. threat to withhold some arms would not prevent Israel from continuing its offensive in Gaza, indicating it might proceed with an invasion of the packed city of Rafah against the wishes of its closest ally.

https://apnews.com/article/cyprus-aid-shipment-gaza-c2f2545739b7c9499476e6b4cfa9b5df?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Bibi's Biden rant
Photo illustration of Benjamin Netanyahu surrounded by torn pieces of blue paper, and torn pieces of a map.
 

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AFP via Getty Images

 

A day after President Biden warned Israel that a major attack on Rafah would cross a "red line" for U.S. support, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on a rant during a meeting with his security cabinet, Axios' Barak Ravid reports.

  • "We are not a vassal state of the United States!" he declared, according to three people with knowledge of his remarks, including one of Netanyahu's aides.

Why it matters: Netanyahu's hot reaction last Thursday reflected his combative mood at a time when Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza has strained its relationship with the U.S.

Between the lines: Bibi has long fought with Democratic U.S. presidents to mobilize his base at home — and doesn't want to be seen as Biden's puppet.

The tension began escalating two weeks ago, after Biden put a hold on 3,500 U.S. bombs that were on a ship about to depart for Israel.

  • It signaled how concerned Biden remains about Netanyahu continuing to say he's planning to order an invasion of Rafah, where more than 1 million displaced Palestinians have taken shelter.

🔎 Behind the scenes: Netanyahu and his close confidant Ron Dermer, Israel's minister for strategic affairs, were surprised by Biden's decision on the weapons shipment and his public ultimatum, two Israeli sources with knowledge of the issue told Axios.

  • Biden and other senior U.S. officials privately told Netanyahu and Dermer several times recently that such a move could happen if they continued pushing toward an invasion of Rafah, a senior U.S. official said.
  • But Dermer, who was Israel's ambassador to Washington for eight years during the Obama and Trump administrations, told Netanyahu that Biden wouldn't dare take such a step, one Israeli source said.

The bottom line: So far, Israel's military is operating in Rafah in a targeted way without a massive ground invasion, U.S. officials say.

  • Go deeper: Democrats rage at GOP over "tough vote" on Israel arms sales ...

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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🇮🇱 Bibi's war cabinet breakdown
mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.axios.com%
Smoke plume from an explosion yesterday in the Gaza Strip, seen from southern Israel. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

Israel's defense chief warned in a dramatic speech yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's inaction on a post-war plan for Gaza is pushing Israel toward having to impose military and civilian rule over the enclave, Axios' Barak Ravid reports.

  • Why it matters: Defense Minister Yoav Gallant's remarks were a public indictment of Netanyahu's war policy, exposing some officials' frustration that he hasn't set a clear strategy for Gaza's future.

The comments shed light on the deepening political divisions in Israel's war cabinet, where relations between officials are disintegrating after more than seven months of fighting Hamas.

  • "Indecision is, in essence, a decision," Gallant said. "This leads to a dangerous course, which promotes the idea of Israeli military and civilian governance in Gaza."

Netanyahu has rejected such calls for action, saying there's no point in drafting a post-war plan before Hamas is defeated.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Bibi blocks meetings with U.S. officials
Photo illustration of Benjamin Netanyahu pointing both of his index fingers at other hands pointing at him.
 

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Noam Moskowitz/picture alliance via Getty Images

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has banned Israel's intelligence and security chiefs from meeting with U.S. officials and lawmakers multiple times since the war in Gaza began, U.S. and Israeli officials tell Axios' Barak Ravid.

  • Why it matters: Netanyahu seems to be trying to control what American politicians and diplomats hear from Israel — at a time when his government is deeply divided over his war strategy, and relations with the U.S. are growing more tense, the officials said.

👂 What we're hearing: For decades, congressional delegations and senior White House and State Department officials who've visited Israel routinely have met with the heads of its military and security services.

  • But over the past few months, Netanyahu — who is directly in charge of the Mossad intelligence agency and Shin Bet security agency, and must approve their meetings with U.S. politicians and officials — has tried to prevent several such meetings.

Three weeks ago, Netanyahu banned the directors of Mossad and Shin Bet from meeting with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the U.S. officials said.

  • Rubio, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, requested the meetings during his visit to Israel last month. Netanyahu met with Rubio himself.

🔎 Between the lines: The leaders of those agencies think Israel needs to craft a clearer strategy for post-war Gaza.

  • In the past few days, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and cabinet Minister Benny Gantz have publicly demanded that Netanyahu draft a post-war strategy.
  • Netanyahu rejects the need for a strategy until Hamas is defeated.

Keep reading.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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  • 2 weeks later...
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phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Centrist Benny Gantz is quitting Israel’s war Cabinet, citing frustrations with Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (AP) — Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel’s three-man war Cabinet, announced his resignation Sunday, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of mismanaging the war effort and putting his own “political survival” over the country’s security needs.

https://apnews.com/article/israel-palestinians-hamas-gaza-netanyahu-gantz-48a4a60ccccdb7f74b4bf7816f9a7c67?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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🇮🇱 Netanyahu rival quits
mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.axios.com%
Benny Gantz announces his resignation from Israel's war cabinet during a press conference in Tel Aviv yesterday. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Centrist Israeli minister Benny Gantz announced in a speech yesterday that his party is withdrawing from the emergency government formed after the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas, Axios' Barak Ravid writes.

  • Why it matters: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition won't fall apart. But it will likely be destabilized.

Gantz — who was once the IDF's top general — said Netanyahu's promise of total victory against Hamas was empty and that Israelis deserve "a real victory" that "puts the release of the hostages above political survival."

  • He's seen by the Biden administration and many other Western and Arab governments as a moderate.

The departure is likely to increase U.S. and international pressure on Netanyahu.

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Netanyahu dissolved his war Cabinet. How will that affect cease-fire efforts?

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disbanded his war Cabinet Monday, a move that consolidates his influence over the Israel-Hamas war and likely diminishes the odds of a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip anytime soon.

https://apnews.com/article/israel-gaza-war-cabinet-hamas-netanyahu-b50f7fe8913b06aaba377ae6b37c3fed?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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