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6 May, 2024 11:36

No international pressure can stop Israel – Netanyahu

The Israeli PM has pledged to destroy Hamas even if the Jewish state has to do it alone
No international pressure can stop Israel – Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed not to yield to international pressure to stop the war in Gaza. In a speech marking Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, the Israeli leader said that the Jewish state will continue to “defend” itself even if its allies abandon it.

The Israeli government has found itself under increasing international pressure to halt its offensive in Gaza and agree to a ceasefire. The US, the biggest supplier of weapons to Israel, has faced mounting calls from the UN, pro-Palestinian protesters, and human rights organizations to stop sending arms to the country.

“I say to the leaders of the world, no amount of pressure, no decision by any international forum, will stop Israel from defending itself,” Netanyahu said during a memorial ceremony in Jerusalem for the six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany during World War II. “We will fight the monsters of Hamas and destroy them for good. […] If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone,” he added.

On Sunday, Axios reported that Washington had halted a planned shipment of American-made ammunition to West Jerusalem last week. The decision reportedly left the Israeli government “scrambling to understand” why the shipment was put on hold.

The report comes as Israel has been preparing for an invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, despite objections from the US and UN. West Jerusalem claims the city is the last significant Hamas stronghold. Rafah is currently home to an estimated 1.4 million Palestinians who have fled the northern parts of the enclave.

On Monday, the Israeli military ordered tens of thousands of people to begin evacuating from parts of the city, signaling that a ground invasion could be imminent. The army warned it was about to use “extreme force” in southern Gaza.

The administration of the US President Joe Biden previously declared that an Israeli invasion of the civilian-crowded city of Rafah would be a “red line.” 

A group of Democratic members in the US House of Representatives, including former House speaker and Biden ally Nancy Pelosi, called on the president last month to fully halt weapons shipments to Israel.

Former US President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the November presidential election, refused last month to rule out withholding military aid to Israel should he return to the White House.

Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, killing around 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostages. The death toll from Israel’s retaliation in the enclave is approaching 35,000, according to the Palestinian health authorities.