Sullivan: Biden’s temporary halt in military aid to Israel does not indicate abandonment

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan reassured the public on Sunday that President Biden’s decision to withhold offensive weapons from Israel should not be misconstrued as an indication of the United States abandoning the country.

In a recent interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, Sullivan expressed concern over the potential for “significant” civilian casualties in Rafah, the southern Gaza city. This statement follows President Biden’s warning to Israel that offensive weapons may be withheld if they proceed with a full-scale invasion of the city.

In an interview released on Sunday, Sullivan explained the reasons behind not wanting to launch a ground invasion in Gaza. He emphasized that there were a million people living in close quarters in Gaza, who had been forced into this situation due to military operations and other factors. Sullivan expressed concerns about the potential for significant civilian casualties if a ground invasion were to take place. He also highlighted the challenges of targeting Hamas militants, as they are not organized fighters in the traditional military sense and could easily blend into the civilian population.

According to the source, the statement was made that President Biden does not want to see American weapons being used in a certain operation. However, this does not mean that he plans to abandon Israel or cut off their access to weapons. The focus is on a specific operation that Biden believes will not be successful in defeating Hamas and will result in significant harm.

Some Republicans and Israeli leaders are pushing back against Biden’s warning about Rafah, arguing that entering the city is crucial to eradicate Hamas forces present there.

The White House has been advising Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to exercise caution and refrain from launching a large-scale incursion in the city, as it is currently being used as a safe haven by over a million civilians.

Israel issued new evacuation orders for the southern city over the weekend.

Biden has been expressing growing concerns about Israel’s military campaign and has been urging Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders to be more cautious in order to minimize civilian casualties.

Over 35,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in Gaza since the conflict erupted in early October. It all started when Hamas forces launched a sudden attack on Israel, resulting in the tragic death of approximately 1,200 individuals.

According to Sullivan, Joe Biden has been a staunch advocate for Israel and has provided significant support to combat Hamas. Sullivan stated that Biden has consistently ensured that Israel has the necessary resources to defend itself, without any reservations.

The speaker added that the president has expressed concerns regarding a large-scale military invasion of Rafah. It is important to note that Rafah is currently accommodating over a million individuals who have sought shelter and have no other place to go.

During an interview on NBC News’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his concern regarding Israel’s lack of credible plans to prevent civilian casualties in Rafah.

Blinken expressed concerns about the lack of a post-war plan for Gaza, stating, “We also haven’t seen a plan for what happens the day after this war in Gaza ends.” He emphasized that Israel’s current trajectory could result in the presence of thousands of armed Hamas members, even if heavy action is taken in Rafah.

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