Latest News 08-05-2024 18:22 9 Views

Biden administration confirms paused shipment of bombs to Israel over opposition to operation in Rafah

The Biden administration has paused shipments of two types of precision bombs to Israel in response to U.S. opposition to Israeli forces’ operation in Rafah, according to a U.S. official.

One shipment of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs the administration says might be used in Rafah has been placed on hold.

‘The U.S. position has been that Israel should not launch a major ground operation in Rafah, where more than a million people are sheltering with nowhere else to go,’ the U.S. official said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

‘We have been engaging in a dialogue with Israel in our Strategic Consultative Group format on how they will meet the humanitarian needs of civilians in Rafah, and how to operate differently against Hamas there than they have elsewhere in Gaza,’ the official continued. ‘Those discussions are ongoing and have not fully addressed our concerns. As Israeli leaders seemed to approach a decision point on such an operation, we began to carefully review proposed transfers of particular weapons to Israel that might be used in Rafah. This began in April.’

Following this review, the U.S. decided last week to pause a shipment of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs, according to the official, who said the administration is ‘especially focused’ on the end-use of the 2,000-pound bombs and ‘the impact they could have in dense urban settings as we have seen in other parts of Gaza.’

A final determination has not yet been made on how to proceed with this shipment.

‘For certain other cases at the State Department, including Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits, we are continuing the review,’ the official said.  None of these cases involve imminent transfers – they are about future transfers.’

The official also emphasized that these shipments do not have anything to do with the Israel supplemental appropriations passed last month.

‘All are drawn from previously appropriated funds, some many years ago,’ the official said. ‘We are committed to ensuring Israel gets every dollar appropriated in the supplemental. In fact, we just approved the latest tranche of Foreign Military Financing: $827 million worth of weapons and equipment for Israel.’

The statement from the U.S. official comes after two Israeli officials told Axios that U.S.-manufactured ammunition to Israel was paused last week for the first time since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack against the Jewish State.

On Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces announced that it had gained operational control of the Gazan side of the Rafah Crossing after troops began a ‘precise counterterrorism operation’ in eastern Rafah aimed at killing Hamas terrorists and dismantling ‘Hamas terrorist infrastructure within specific areas of eastern Rafah.’

Fox News’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.

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