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Senate Democrat floats blocking arms shipments to Israel if IDF attacks Rafah

The IDF's invasion has prompted considerable international scrutiny due to the reported civilian death tolls in the densely populated area.

Published: March 12, 2024 5:04pm

Democratic Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen on Tuesday suggested that the upper chamber could block arms shipments to Israel in the event that the Israeli Defense Forces attack the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

Situated in the southern portion of the Hamas-controlled territory along the Egyptian border, Rafah has attracted many refugees fleeing the Israel invasion and President Joe Biden has warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against assaulting the city. Netanyahu, however, confirmed this week that he would do exactly that and break Biden's "red line."

"[I]f the president’s gonna say something’s a red line, it’s essential the president have an accountability structure," Van Hollen said, according to Politico. "[I]f we're going to mean what we say, it’s very important to have... accountability."

He further indicated that blocking arms shipments in retaliation was "certainly something that’s on the table."

Israel launched the invasion of Gaza in response to the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas raid that saw the group's forces seize more than 200 hostages and kill roughly 1,200 civilians. The IDF's invasion, however, has prompted considerable international scrutiny due to the reported civilian death tolls in the densely populated area.

Biden and Netanyahu have publicly feuded over the Israeli invasion. The U.S. president has called the offensive "over the top" and advocated for the creation of a permanent Palestinian state while Netanyahu has called for Israeli security control over all territory west of the Jordan River.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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