Middle East

Netanyahu says Israel will move forward with invasion of Rafah and responds to Biden’s criticism

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his policies in Gaza after US President Joe Biden said the Israeli leader is “hurting Israel more than helping.”

“I don’t know exactly what the president meant, but if he meant by that, that I’m pursuing private policies against the wish of the majority of Israelis, and that this is hurting the interests of Israel then he’s wrong on both counts,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Politico and German media outlet Bild.

Biden made his remarks during an interview with MSNBC that aired Saturday, when he said Netanyahu “must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken” in Gaza.

Netanyahu said he intends to move forward with an invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, despite Biden warning that doing so would be a “red line.”

“We’ll go there. We’re not going to leave [Gaza],” Netanyahu said Sunday in an interview with German outlet Axel Springer. “You know, I have a red line. You know what the red line is, that October 7 doesn’t happen again.”

Netanyahu said the operation would not last more than two months, but did not provide specifics on the timeline.

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