Biden reportedly withholding military intelligence from Israel

 May 14, 2024

Joe Biden is reportedly withholding intelligence about Hamas from Israel to force a change in the country's war plans.

The Washington Post reported, citing four U.S. officials, that the Biden administration is offering intelligence about Hamas leaders' whereabouts if Israel calls off an invasion of Rafah, a city crowded with Palestinian refugees.

The reports are further evidence of a "quid pro quo" to pressure Israel to cooperate with the White House in exchange for military support.

U.S. withholding Hamas intelligence

An official denied the report, but Biden has already threatened to yank military aid from Israel if it crosses a "red line" in Rafah.

“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,” Biden told CNN last week.

Biden is fearful of a humanitarian disaster in the city, which is located in the southern Gaza Strip and is the last pocket of the Palestinian territory that has yet to face Israel's devastating bombardment.

Some 1.3 million Palestinians live in Rafah, including many refugees who have fled the war. But Israel says an incursion is necessary to wipe out Hamas, which has a tunnel network in the city.

The Washington Post report says that U.S. officials are offering to help Israel locate those tunnels and key Hamas leaders. The Biden administration believes a targeted attack on Rafah is possible with the right information, the report said.

Biden's quid pro quo...

The administration also reportedly offered to help Israel build tent cities and deliver aid to Palestinians fleeing Rafah.

"We have serious concerns about how Israel has prosecuted this campaign, and that could all come to a head in Rafah," a senior administration official told the Washington Post.

The administration has denied the reports, insisting cooperation with Israel has continued.

"We’re not holding anything back,’’ an official said. “We believe [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar should and indeed must be held accountable for the horrors of the October 7 attack.”

Republicans have accused Biden of shaking down a U.S. ally to appease progressive voters unhappy with his support of Israel. Some have floated impeaching Biden, comparing his pressure campaign to the Ukraine controversy at the heart of Donald Trump's first impeachment.

The former president was accused of leveraging Ukraine aid in a "quid pro quo" to extract dirt on Biden's dealings in the country.

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