Sanders says Biden’s warning to Netanyahu is ‘a good step forward’ but calls for ‘even more’

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Biden’s warning to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a “good step forward” in a Wednesday interview, but he hopes to see “even more” from the president going forward.

“Well, I think it’s a good step forward. I think we’ve got to do even more,” Sanders told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins in an interview Wednesday. “The bottom line is, Kaitlan, is what Netanyahu has done in Gaza is unconscionable.”

“In my view, Netanyahu should not have gotten a nickel so long as he continued this incredibly destructive war. I’m glad to see that the President is beginning – beginning – to move in that direction,” Sanders added.

Sanders’s remarks come after Biden warned in an earlier interview that he would stop supplying Israel with offensive weapons like bombs and artillery shells if Israeli forces launch an invasion of Rafah, laying down a clear line amid outcry over the conflict in Gaza.

“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 said earlier.

The White House has urged Israel against sending forces into Rafah without a clear plan to evacuate civilians safely, but Netanyahu has been adamant about plans to destroy Hamas, which he says requires going after Hamas’s battalions and tunnel system in Rafah, as well as its leaders and hostages who are held there.

Sanders said he understands the difficulty in targeting Hamas, but he said, “America should not be complicit in what is going on there right now.”

“It is a difficult issue. Hamas is a very difficult enemy to fight. They are a terrorist group. They use civilian shields. It is true,” Sanders said, when asked about those who ask how Israel should proceed, if terrorists are hiding out there with hostages. “But look, what America cannot and must not be part of is literally the destruction of all of Gaza. I mean, the infrastructure, education, the health care system decimated, and so many women and children who are killed.”

“So yes, you’ve got to go after Hamas. But no, you cannot continue …  literally almost to destroy the entire people in that region,” he added.

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