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Some Democratic senators distance themselves from Biden over the Israeli arms blockade: 'Disappointing'

John Fetterman (D-PA) and Jon Tester (D-MT) criticized the president for his position on Netanyahu's military advance in Rafah.

John Fetterman

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Joe Biden recently announced that his government would not send weapons to Israel for its military incursion in Rafah, where the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had already eliminated Ahmed Ali, commander in chief of Hamas naval forces in the Gaza Strip. The White House's decision provoked reproach from Republicans in Congress, although some high-profile Democrats also joined in condemning the president's actions.

"I will not supply the weapons that have historically been used to deal with Rafah," the president said in dialogue with CNN, alleging that "civilians have died in Gaza as a result of these bombs and other ways in which they target population centers."

In this context, some Democratic senators spoke out against the president. One of them was John Fetterman (D-PA), who continues to infuriate his progressive colleagues with his pro-Israel rhetoric.

The senator from Pennsylvania expressed himself on his X account, formerly known as Twitter, where he attached Biden's statements and added the following: "Hard disagree and deeply disappointing."

Just a day before the president's announcement, Fetterman had spoken to Fox News about it, supporting sending weapons to Israel to advance on Rafah. "I don’t think we should be withholding any munitions, and I think we should send them immediately," he said.

Another Democratic senator who condemned the president's decision was Jon Tester, who will face a re-election attempt in November that seems uphill. According to GovTrack, he is the fourth most moderate Democrat in the Senate, surpassed only by Joe Manchin, Raphael Warnock and Maggie Hassan. In turn, the strategy of moving even closer to the center near the elections has worked for him in 2012 and 2018.

When asked by The Washington Examiner about blocking weapons to Benjamin Netanyahu, the senator responded that Biden "should give it to them." "Congress passed the bill. Congressional intent was to give it to them. He should continue to put pressure on [Netanyahu] to better target what he’s doing, but he should give it to them," he added.

In turn, Tester opposed the White House's idea of welcoming some Palestinian refugees to the United States. For the senator from Montana, "it makes more sense to resettle them in countries in the region because it is better that way."

The United States supports the advance in Rafah

According to a survey conducted by Harvard Caps and Harris Polls in April, 72% gave a favorable opinion about the Israeli military advance on Rafah, while the remaining 28% opted for a scenario in which Hamas remains in charge of the territory.

In turn, the highest percentages of support for the military incursion came from the oldest respondents.