The Impact of US Arms Shipment Paused to Israel

The Impact of US Arms Shipment Paused to Israel

The recent decision by U.S. President Joe Biden's administration to pause a shipment of weapons to Israel has raised concerns over the possibility of an Israeli invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The move was made in an effort to prevent a full-scale assault by the Israelis against Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have sought refuge from the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

According to a senior administration official, the decision to pause the shipment was prompted by the Israeli leaders' apparent approach towards a decision on a Rafah incursion. The review of the proposed weapons transfers began in April, with a focus on particular weapons that could potentially be used in dense urban settings, such as the 2,000-lb bombs included in the shipment.

The shipment, which consists of 1,800 2,000-lb bombs and 1,700 500-lb bombs, has been delayed for at least two weeks. The weapons involved in the shipment include Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Small Diameter Bombs, which are designed to convert dumb bombs into precision-guided ones. The pause in the shipment comes at a time when Washington is urging Israel to postpone its planned offensive in Rafah to prevent civilian casualties.

Despite the delay in arms shipments, the White House and Pentagon have reaffirmed their commitment to Israel's security, stating that Washington's support for Israel remains “ironclad.” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized the importance of direct conversations with Israeli counterparts to ensure the protection of civilian lives.

Impact of Delay on Israeli Operations

While there has not been a policy decision to withhold arms from Israel, the delays in arms shipments mark the first instance since Biden's administration offered its full support to Israel following a deadly attack by Hamas. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a significant number of civilian casualties and has sparked protests in the U.S. calling for a withdrawal of support for Israel.

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Response from Israeli Official

An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not confirm any specific hold-up in arms supplies but appeared to downplay the reports. The official emphasized Israel's readiness to defend itself by any means necessary, indicating a willingness to continue the fight even without the expected arms shipments.

Overall, the decision to pause the shipment of weapons to Israel highlights the complexities and sensitivities surrounding the conflict in Gaza. By reviewing and reconsidering arms transfers, the Biden administration is seeking to balance its support for Israel's security with concerns over civilian casualties and the humanitarian impact of the conflict. The ongoing tensions between Israel and Hamas underscore the challenges of maintaining stability and peace in the region.

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