'We'll do what we have to do': Netanyahu issues stark warning as he says Israel can 'stand alone' if US halts weapons

10 May 2024, 06:12 | Updated: 10 May 2024, 06:34

Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the US made a mistake withholding weapons
Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the US made a mistake withholding weapons. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Israel will 'do what it has to do' after claiming the US made a mistake by threatening to stop their supply of weapons.

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The Israeli PM said he remained committed to doing what he believes is best to win against Hamas, even if it means Israel has to "stand alone".

Speaking in an interview with Dr Phil on Thursday, he went on to say he and Mr Biden had disagreements in the past but were always able to overcome them.

"I've known Joe Biden for many years, 40 years and more," Mr Netanyahu said.

"We often had our agreements, but we've had our disagreements. We've been able to overcome them. I hope we can overcome them now."

He added: "We will do what we have to do to protect our country, and that means to protect our future. And that means we will defeat Hamas, including in Rafah. We have no other choice."

Mr Netanyahu said his troops were yet to launch a full-scale invasion, with them having only just crossed the border.

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It came after Mr Biden warned that if Israel went into Rafah, "we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used, that have been used".

He also paused a shipment of heavy bombs to Israel last week amid fears of an invasion.

Mr Biden said the US was still committed to Israel's defence and would supply Iron Dome rocket interceptors and other defensive arms.

In response, Mr Netanyahu vowed that Israel would “fight with our fingernails”.

Recalling the war of 1948, he said: "In the War of Independence 76 years ago, we were the few against the many.

"We did not have weapons. There was an arms embargo on Israel, but with great strength of spirit, heroism and unity among us - we were victorious."

James gives his thoughts on Benjamin Netanyahu after Israel take control of Rafah Crossing

The UK has also called into question its support for Israel in a full-scale invasion of Rafah.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said the UK could not support a major offensive without a plan to protect civilian lives.

He said the UK was in a different situation to the US because the government did not supply weapons directly, but said arms export licences would continue to be measured against the risk of international humanitarian law being broken.

Answering questions following a speech in London, he said: "There's a very fundamental difference between the US situation and the UK situation.

"The US is a massive state supplier of weapons to Israel. We do not have a UK Government supply of weapons to Israel, we have a number of licences, and I think our defence exports to Israel are responsible for significantly less than 1% of their total. That is a big difference.

"On Rafah, we are clear that we would not support some major operation in Rafah unless there was a very clear plan for how to protect people and save lives, and all the rest of it.

"We have not seen that plan, so in the circumstances we will not support a major operation in Rafah."

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