Biden Says He Will Stop Sending Israel Heavy Bombs If It Attacks ‘Population Centers’ in Rafah

A US official previously said that Israel has enough munitions to launch a full-scale invasion of Rafah if it chooses to

President Biden told CNN on Wednesday that the US would stop sending heavy bombs to Israel if its military launched a major invasion of Rafah and acknowledged that Israel has been killing civilians with US-provided munitions.

The comments marked the first time Biden appeared to put conditions on US military aid to Israel, but it might not make a difference. A US official told The Washington Post a day earlier that Israel already had enough munitions supplied by the US and other countries to launch a full-scale assault on Rafah.

In the interview, President Biden claimed that Israel had not “gone in Rafah” despite launching an operation to capture the Rafah border crossing, ordering an evacuation of eastern parts of the city, and launching heavy airstrikes.

“I made it clear that if they go into Rafah – they haven’t gone in Rafah yet – if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities – that deal with that problem,” he said.

“They haven’t gone into the population centers. What they did is right on the border. And it’s causing problems with, right now, in terms of – with Egypt, which I’ve worked very hard to make sure we have a relationship and help. I’ve made it clear to Bibi and the war cabinet: They’re not going to get our support, if in fact they go on these population centers,” Biden added.

The interview came after US officials said that the administration had paused a shipment of 2,000-pound and 500-pound bombs that was bound for Israel. However, US officials also announced a new $827 million weapons package for Israel, the contents of which are unclear, and vowed Israel would get all of the $17 billion in new military aid that was recently authorized.

“We’re going to continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks that came out of the Middle East recently,” he said. “But it’s, it’s just wrong. We’re not going to – we’re not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells.”

Biden admitted that “civilians have been killed in Gaza” as a consequence of the US providing bombs to Israel. Back in December, he labeled the Israeli bombing campaign “indiscriminate” but continued to ship heavy bombs and approve arms deals for Israel.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.