President Joe Biden cautioned during a CNN interview on Wednesday that if Israel were to enter the densely populated regions of Rafah, he would cease providing offensive aid, as per Politico. President Biden made it clear that Israel had not yet entered Rafah, but he issued a warning that if they were to do so, he would halt the supply of weapons that have traditionally been utilized to address issues in Rafah and other urban areas, as reported by Politico.

Biden informed CNN that he had relayed this request to the Israeli war cabinet, as reported by The Times of Israel. The outlet also mentioned that Biden assured the United States would persist in providing defensive armaments for the Iron Dome and similar systems. The president emphasized, “We will not furnish the weapons and artillery shells [if the Israelis enter Rafah].” Biden also recognized that American-made bombs had been utilized in the Gaza Strip previously, resulting in civilian casualties, as per Politico. The president stated, “Civilians in Gaza have lost their lives due to those [2,000-pound] bombs and other methods targeting population centers.”

The Israelis initiated civilian evacuation procedures in eastern Rafah on Monday. Israel justified this operation against the city as necessary to defeat Hamas, given that this area is where Hamas maintains an organized military presence. The IDF operation culminated in the successful seizure of the Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egyptian border, according to the Associated Press.

Biden’s declaration coincided with reports that the administration was already postponing the delivery of military equipment, including precision munitions, to Israel, as reported by Politico. Biden’s statements were met with disapproval from numerous politicians. Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted, “Biden’s indecision regarding Israel’s weapons is misguided policy and sends a negative message to Israel, our allies, and the international community.”