‘We will fight with our fingernails’ says Netanyahu

Conflicts 10:03 10.05.2024

Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that Israel will stand alone and “fight with our fingernails” in defiance of US threats to further restrict arms deliveries if Israeli forces proceed with an offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Ednews reports.

Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, was speaking on Thursday after Israeli and Hamas delegations left the ceasefire negotiations in Cairo. It was unclear whether the talks had broken down or simply paused. Hamas said early on Friday that the “ball is now completely” in Israel’s hands, while Israel has claimed that Hamas’ version of a deal fell far short of its requirements.

The failure to reach an agreement in this week’s round of meetings raised fears of an imminent Israeli attack on Rafah.

Netanyahu appeared to shrug off a public warning from the US president, Joe Biden, the previous night that if the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a major offensive on the city the US would not provide bombs and artillery shells to support the operation.

“If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone. If we need to, we will fight with our fingernails. But we have much more than fingernails,” Netanyahu said. He noted that Israel was approaching the 76th anniversary of its independence, which it had to fight for. “We did not have weapons,” he said, referring to the 1948 war. “There was an arms embargo on Israel, but with great strength of spirit, heroism and unity among us – we were victorious.”

The prime minister sounded a more conciliatory note towards Biden in an hour-long interview with an American self-help guru and talkshow host, Phil McGraw, known as Dr Phil.

“We often had our agreements but we’ve had our disagreements. We’ve been able to overcome them,” Netanyahu said of the bilateral relations on the Dr Phil Primetime show. “I hope we can overcome them now, but we will do what we have to do to protect our country,” he said.

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