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27 May, 2024
 
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Netanyahu: ''We are not a vassal state of the US''

The Israeli Prime Minister's reaction at a security meeting with his cabinet underscores the strained relationship between him and US President Biden

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly reacted during a meeting with his security cabinet following President Biden's warning that a potential major attack on Rafah would be crossing a 'red line', Axios' Barak Ravid reports. Netanyahu emphasized Israel's independence, declaring, "We are not a vassal state of the United States!" His heated response underscores the strained relationship between Israel and the U.S. amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

The tension between Netanyahu and Biden escalated two weeks ago when the U.S. President put a hold on a shipment of 3,500 U.S. bombs destined for Israel. This move signaled Biden's concern over Netanyahu's statements about potentially ordering an invasion of Rafah, where over 1 million displaced Palestinians have sought shelter. Netanyahu, known for his combative stance with Democratic U.S. presidents, is keen to avoid being perceived as a puppet of the Biden administration.

Behind the scenes, Netanyahu and his confidant Ron Dermer, Israel's minister for strategic affairs, were reportedly surprised by Biden's decision on the weapons shipment and his public ultimatum. Despite private warnings from Biden and other senior U.S. officials, Dermer expressed confidence that Biden would not take action against Israel. However, Biden's move indicates a significant shift in U.S.-Israel relations, with the U.S. showing reluctance to support Israeli military actions that could further escalate tensions in the region.

As of now, Israel's military is conducting targeted operations in Rafah without resorting to a large-scale ground invasion, according to U.S. officials. The situation underscores the delicate balance of power in the region and the complex dynamics between Israel and its closest ally, the United States.

[Source: AXIOS]

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