Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin NetanyahuMarc Israel Sellem/POOL

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this evening (Thursday) addressed for the first time the confrontation between the Israeli and American governments and US President Joe Biden's threat to halt weapons shipments to Israel over Israel's military operation in Rafah.

"We are on the eve of Independence Day. In the War of Independence 76 years ago, we were few against many. We had no weapons, there was an arms embargo on Israel, but with fortitude, bravery, and unity within us - we won. Today we are much stronger. We are determined, and we are united to defeat our enemies and protect our lives," Netanyahu said.

"If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone. I have already said that if we have to - we will fight with our nails. But we have much more than our nails, and with the same determination, with God's help, we will win together," he said.

National Unity party chairman, Minister Benny Gantz, also responded to Biden's threat and said, "The partnership between the US and Israel is a strategic partnership, and just as importantly - a values-based partnership. The US stood by Israel in its most difficult hour, and the attacks on it by irresponsible ministers are displays of ingratitude intended for domestic consumption and stemming from political considerations."

"I maintain and will continue to maintain a direct dialogue on many sensitive issues that have a dramatic impact on Israel's security and I believe that the important arms shipments will continue. Beyond the security need, this has an important political statement for the US to continue standing on Israel's side," Gantz added.

"Israel has a security and moral obligation to continue fighting to return our hostages and remove the threat of Hamas from the south of the country, and the US has a moral and strategic obligation to provide Israel with the tools required for this mission," Gantz concluded.