Report: Biden using 'sensitive intelligence' as leverage with Israel in effort to thwart Rafah operation

 May 13, 2024

As he attempts to win another term in the Oval Office, President Joe Biden is struggling to balance his declared support for Israel with growing opposition from Arab American constituencies in several critical swing states.

Reporting emerged over the weekend that the administration has been withholding key intelligence from Israeli leaders about the location of Hamas leaders and is now using it as leverage in an effort to prevent the operation in Rafah from escalating, as the Times of Israel reports.

“Sensitive intelligence” offered

The outlet cited several sources who spoke to the Washington Post on the matter and detailed the manner in which the administration is “offering Israel valuable assistance if it holds back” in Rafah.

That intelligence, according to the sources, would “help the Israeli military pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders and find the group's hidden tunnels.”

According to the Post, the administration has also indicated its willingness to build tent encampments for Palestinians who have been evacuated from Rafah and to assist with infrastructure needs in the area of humanitarian aid.

Kirby holds forth

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby spoke on Thursday and did not offer information that contradicted the account in the Post.

In fact, he asserted that the intelligence information that is now reportedly being held out as a carrot to Israel was already being provided.

Kirby said, “We could also, in fact, help them target the leaders, including [Hamas official Yahya] Sinwar, which we are, frankly, doing with the Israelis on an ongoing basis.”

Criticism pours in

Lawyer and pundit Marina Medvin took to X to express outrage at the very idea that the administration would withhold vital information from its longtime ally.

“Why has Biden been keeping intel on Palestinian terrorists from Israel while 5 Americans are being held hostage in Gaa and Israel is their only way out?” she wondered.

Medvin further asked, “Why is Biden constantly playing interference on behalf of Hamas?”

RedState's Bonchie offered similar condemnation, writing, “There's no other way to read this except that the Biden administration has been protecting Hamas. If intelligence exists that can help 'pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders,' it should have been given to Israel the moment it was produced. The same goes for any information about the terror tunnels.”

Biden's dilemma

The president's precarious position when it comes to maintaining America's alliance with Israel while satisfying his far-left base in key battleground states was also made evident in recent days, when he signaled his willingness to withhold bomb shipments to Israel unless the Rafah operation was scuttled.

“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 said, prompting not just outrage from pro-Israel Democrat donors, but also allegations of the same sort of impeachable foreign policy quid pro quo of which his predecessor stood accused.

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