Netanyahu: 'We Have No Other Choice' on Rafah

In sit-down with Dr. Phil, PM says Israel 'will do what we have to do to protect our country'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2024 9:00 AM CDT

After President Biden warned earlier this week that the US would halt weapons shipments to Israel if it carried out a ground invasion into the Gaza city of Rafah, Benjamin Netanyahu said he wouldn't be deterred in his mission, noting, "If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone." On Thursday, the Israeli prime minister spoke further on his war against Hamas, prompted after the militant group attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people. "We will do what we have to do to protect our country ... [and] protect our future," Netanyahu told TV personality Dr. Phil McGraw during an interview that aired Thursday, per Business Insider.

"That means we will defeat Hamas, including in Rafah," Netanyahu added. "We have no other choice." The prime minister also appeared to accept some culpability for Oct. 7, telling McGraw that "there were failures, obviously," per the Hill. "First of all, government. The government's first responsibility is to protect the people," Netanyahu said. "That's the ultimate enveloping responsibility. And the people weren't protected. We have to admit that." The Israeli leader also said that, after the war is complete, there would be a "thorough examination ... of exactly what happened, how it happened, and who, you know, who made it happen."

Right now, however, "there's no substitute for victory," Netanyahu added. As for Biden's warning on the latest moves in Gaza, where more than 34,000 Palestinians are estimated to have been killed in Israel's bombardments, the prime minister brushed it off. "I've known Joe Biden for many years, 40 years and more," he told McGraw. "We often had our agreements, but we've had our disagreements. We've been able to overcome them. I hope we can overcome them now." Watch more of the interview here. (More Benjamin Netanyahu stories.)

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