If Israel attacks, the U.S. will stop delivering weapons


Mr. Biden has since struggled to both support Israel in the war on Hamas, and to press to limit civilian casualties.
In the CNN interview, Mr. Biden said that he had warned Mr. Netanyahu against sending the Israeli military into civilian areas of Rafah.
Israel said that the Kerem Shalom crossing reopened on Wednesday, but did not indicate when the Rafah crossing would reopen.
The U.S. also gave Israel access to the U.S. military stockpiles in Israel for immediate needs.
Additionally, President Biden last month signed an aid package that will send about $15 billion in additional military aid.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, U.S. military aid to Israel has amounted to $216 billion since Israel’s founding in 1948.
The Israeli military called it “a very precise” counterterrorism operation.
Israel launched an incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Monday night and closed the crossing with Egypt there.


The conversation aired hours after Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Almost a million Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah, one of Hamas’s final strongholds in Gaza, and Austin III publicly acknowledged that Israel’s preparations for a major offensive in the area were a factor in Mr. Biden’s decision last week to delay the delivery of thousands of heavy bombs.

At war in Gaza since October is Israel versus Hamas. 7, when, according to Israeli authorities, Hamas carried out a catastrophic raid on Israel that claimed the lives of about 1,200 people. Since then, Mr. Biden has battled to urge Israel to keep up the fight against Hamas and to push for a reduction in civilian casualties. According to the health authorities in Gaza, over 34,000 people have died there, many of them were women and children. As a result, Mr. Biden’s pressure on Israel has increased.

However, Israel has ordered the evacuation of 110,000 civilians from Rafah, launched airstrikes against targets outside the city, deployed tanks, and taken control of the border crossing with Egypt at Rafah in recent days.

In the interview, Mr. Biden also admitted—in a manner he hasn’t done much of lately—that American bombs have killed Palestinian civilians. “Those bombs and other ways they target population centers have resulted in the deaths of civilians in Gaza,” Mr. Biden stated.

Fearing that American bombs could cause widespread civilian casualties, the president has objected to Israel’s planned Rafah operation. In addition, he declared on Wednesday that he would stop artillery shells from being delivered and fired into Rafah’s urban neighborhoods.

The president addressed Mr. Netanyahu by his nickname, saying, “I’ve made it clear to Bibi and the war cabinet, they’re not going to get our support if in fact they go on these population centers.”.

As stated by Mr. Biden in the CNN interview, he had cautioned Mr. Netanyahu about deploying the Israeli military into Rafah’s civilian areas. “It’s simply incorrect,” Mr. Biden stated. “We will not provide the guns and artillery shells. I have explicitly informed Bibi and the war cabinet that should they choose to enter these populated areas, they will not receive our backing. “.

Though the president and other administration officials have been critical of Israel’s handling of the war in public for months, their criticisms have typically been mild, with the most critical remarks reserved for private discussions. In addition to being the most direct public declaration of the consequences of the disagreement to date, Mr. Austin’s remarks on Wednesday also indicated the kind of power the US has to influence how Israel is waging the Gaza War.

A full-scale attack on Rafah, as warned by the US and other allies, might result in a humanitarian catastrophe for the hundreds of thousands of displaced Gazans residing there in makeshift tents and lodgings. Israeli troops and tanks invaded Egypt on Monday in an attempt to seize control of the border crossing.

While continuing to negotiate on a potential cease-fire that could result in the return of Israeli hostages taken during the Hamas-led attack in October, Israeli officials have played down any disagreement with the United States over weapons and the Gaza war, though the scope and timing of their plans remain unclear.

specialists regarding the U. S. The White House’s confirmation on Tuesday of the pause in munitions delivery indicated to -Israeli relationship watchers that the alliance had reached a critical juncture, and further rifts may be forthcoming due to the public’s diminishing support for Israel’s war effort in America.

Former Israeli deputy national security adviser Chuck Freilich said on Wednesday, “It’s pent-up frustration on Biden’s part, which eventually broke.”. The administration has been balancing pressure from within and its ardent support for Israel. “.

Two divergent facets of President Biden’s strategy for providing military support for Israel are coming together this week in particular and vying for attention from around the world.

With his blessing for new U. s. President Biden has demonstrated his continued commitment to Israel by providing $827 million in arms and equipment aid and by making a strong speech opposing antisemitism during a Holocaust remembrance ceremony.

He has also indicated that US patience and assistance have their limits. He has stopped the delivery of the heaviest munitions, 1,800 2,000-pound and 1,700 500-pound bombs, due to fears that they may be used in a potential full-scale attack on the southern Gazan city of Rafah.

Israeli officials have mostly downplayed the halt in weapon deliveries and emphasized America’s long-term support in public remarks.

Rear Adm., the chief spokesman for the military, spoke at a conference Tuesday night that was organized by a local newspaper. Daniel Hagari stated that any differences were resolved “behind closed doors” and characterized US-Israel coordination as reaching “a scope without precedent.”. “.

He emphasized the significance of “operational assistance” and daily coordination while dodging questions regarding the expression of American dissatisfaction and the possible threat to upcoming arms transfers. “.

Military analysts said that Israel has a sizable arsenal at its disposal and a variety of options for how to proceed in Gaza that might not necessarily involve the bombs Washington has postponed.

According to former Israeli diplomat Alon Pinkas, the U.S. s. decision was spurred by growing American dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and demands from some Congressional Democrats to monitor Israel’s use of U.S. s. weapons. Furthermore, he clarified, it was an effort to alert Israel to the possibility of further repercussions.

“The reasoning behind this is a warning: There are a lot more obstacles that could occur if you don’t get your act together,” Mr. Pinkas stated.

From Jerusalem, Aaron Boxerman provided additional reporting.

Israel announced on Wednesday that the crossing at Kerem Shalom had reopened, but it did not say when the crossing at Rafah would reopen. The U.S. Not N. contested Israel’s assertion.

Aid efforts were temporarily set back to the conditions of the early weeks of the war, when an Israeli and Egyptian blockade prevented anything from entering Gaza, leading to severe shortages of food, water, fuel, medicine, and other supplies. This was caused by the fighting in the Rafah area and the closure of the crossings. Even though the US and humanitarian organizations warned that the military action Israel launched on Monday would be catastrophic for civilians, Israel has characterised it as a limited incursion into Rafah that took control of the border crossing, not the full-fledged offensive it has vowed to carry out.

You. N. Conditions, according to officials, pose a threat to the organization’s entire humanitarian effort in Gaza.

Living in substandard conditions and depending on international aid efforts, up to a million people—more than half of whom are children—who were uprooted from other parts of Gaza have sought sanctuary there.

“Humanitarian operations in Gaza are concentrated around Rafah,” said António Guterres, the U.S. N. declared on Tuesday, the secretary general. “As famine approaches, attacking Rafah will further destabilize our efforts to assist those in extreme humanitarian need. “.

Approximately 500 aid trucks and extra commercial trucks per day delivered supplies to Gaza, which is home to about 23 million people, prior to the start of the conflict in October of last year. Delivery levels were far below prewar levels even after they did start up again because Israel barred some supplies, kept most crossings closed, and insisted on careful inspection of every load.

Following significant international pressure, particularly from the US, Israel saw an increase to an average of over 200 humanitarian aid trucks per day in the second half of April and the first few days of May, as reported by the UN. However, this figure is still far short of what aid organizations and the Biden administration had demanded. Since the beginning of the conflict in October, no commercial trucks have been allowed into Gaza.

After protracted negotiations with Israel, the UN and humanitarian organizations have also had difficulty obtaining safe entry and exit for their employees to work in Gaza for months.

Right now, U. N. The little progress they had made, according to officials, is in danger.

“Instead of handling the aid operation holistically, we are handling it opportunistically—if there is something we can seize, we will seize it,” stated U.S. N. official, during a Wednesday interview.

The man continued, “We want to be able to work without being in the middle of a conflict zone and people we are trying to help being terrified.”.

Just one day prior, the U.S. N. In a video briefing with reporters from Jerusalem, Andrea De Domenico, the humanitarian office for the Palestinian territories, warned that fuel would run out in a matter of days, disrupting communications, closing hospitals, and stopping the distribution of food and other necessities.

At the beginning of the conflict, Gaza’s electrical grid failed. Fuel is crucial because generators are currently the only source of power.

The fighting and the existence of Israeli tanks near Rafah’s border had prevented the U. Not N. to obtain fuel from nearby storage facilities, according to Mr. De Domenico. People are leaving Rafah for places without proper drainage, clean water, or shelter, he continued.

“Without the arrival of supplies and without the fuel to transport them to the location where the people are concentrating, the situation existing in the new displacement sites cannot be improved,” Mr. De Domenico stated.

If the region surrounding the Rafah crossing turns into a combat zone, U.S. Not N. It would be almost impossible, according to officials, to deliver and distribute the aid.

What took place following October. 7,?

Since October. 7. Tens of thousands of weapons have been sent to Israel by the US. According to Bradley Bowman, a military expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, it largely expedited supplies that were already committed under contracts, many of which were approved by Congress and the State Department long ago.

How the U.S. s. sent an incredible stream of weaponry almost right away, Mr. Bowman, a former U.S. S. an army officer stated.

According to a report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, there were so many arms shipments to Israel that a senior Pentagon official said the Department of Defense sometimes struggled to find sufficient cargo aircraft to deliver them.

A Pentagon spokesman, Pete Nguyen, stated via email that precision-guided weapons, artillery ammunition, medical supplies, and “other categories of critical equipment” have been provided recently. “.

“Since October,” he continued, “the United States has increased its security assistance to Israel by billions of dollars.”. Seven assaults. “.

What has been made available to the public?

Recently, news outlets and lawmakers have criticized the lack of public information regarding the sales. The Defense Department released two press releases on December and April of this year, respectively. 9 and 29, regarding the approval of emergency military sales to Israel, whereas a frequently updated fact sheet enumerates a large portion of the military hardware supplied to Ukraine.

The information provided in those press releases states that the assistance provided to Israel since Oct. from December 7th. 29 consisted of 13,981 M830A1 120-mm tank rounds, 52,229 M795 155-mm artillery shells, 30,000 M4 howitzer propelling charges, and 4,792 M107 155-mm artillery shells.

Nonetheless, it is lawful for the State Department to withhold from Congress and the general public certain recent arms orders that Israel has placed since October. 7 because their value is less than a specific sum of money.

According to The Washington Post, since October, the US has authorized and supplied Israel with more than 100 different foreign military sales. 7.

What were they sending?

After a $403 million order for the same guidance kits, a sale of $320 million in kits to Israel for the conversion of unguided “dumb” bombs into GPS-guided munitions was approved in late October.

A list of official documents and news reports regarding the weapons delivered was compiled by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Air defense systems, precision-guided weapons, artillery shells, tank rounds, small arms, drone-mounted Hellfire missiles, 30-mm cannon ammunition, PVS-14 night vision devices, and disposable shoulder-fired rockets were among the weapons mentioned in the reports.

Breaking Defense claims that the Pentagon has returned Israel’s two Iron Dome antimissile batteries to Israel through lease.

The US. s. also permitted Israel entry to the U. S. Israel maintains military reserves for emergency situations. An American official stated that bombs weighing between 250 and 2,000 pounds, including numerous 500-pound bombs, were among the munitions that Israel had recently requested from those stockpiles.

How is it financed?

Under a 2016 memorandum of understanding, the US agreed to provide Israel with $38 billion in weapons over a ten-year period, which funds Israel’s military aid.

Furthermore, last month, President Biden signed an aid package that will provide an additional $15 billion for military aid.

In addition to fighter jets, air defense missiles, and helicopters, Israel routinely receives weapons from the Defense Department and directly from American manufacturers. These include the guided and unguided bombs that Israel has purchased from the US over the years and has recently dropped on Gaza.

The Council on Foreign Relations claims that U.S. s. Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has received $216 billion in military assistance.

Reporting by John Ismay was helpful.

Speakers at the event argued that the European Union ought to be pressuring for a cease-fire and using its power to get one.

The reason for their gathering, according to E Faryda Hussein, is to lament the problems that their institutions are currently facing. U. An employee, at the start of the march. We have been attempting to exert pressure on our leadership from both the inside and the outside for months. “.

For E, it’s not typical. You. Employees may publicly protest in response to their contractual duty to maintain objectivity and allegiance to their organizations. They have staged a few lesser-scale demonstrations throughout the conflict, but none have drawn as much notice as these.

Carlisle, Manus, an E. You. worker who was also a protest organizer stressed that the acts did not go against the institution’s principles.

“I want to be very clear about the fact that we are not biased,” he stated. Our demand for a total cease-fire stems from this. We do not support any one party over another. “.

However, it was evident from the demonstration that people were against Israel and the way it was handling the war. A few Europeans were incensed last autumn by the actions of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. U. member states, adopting a position on her visit to Israel that they perceived as being pro-Israel.

In the same way, a large number of U. S. The State Department disagrees with the American strategy in the conflict, arguing that the Biden administration ought to take a more aggressive stance against Israel and increase pressure for a cease-fire.

Italian staffer Marta Guffanti of the European Parliament carried a sign reading “Free Now” featuring the Palestinian flag at the demonstration on Wednesday. “.

Being present today, demonstrating our presence and beliefs is crucial, particularly because in my opinion, the E. You. Institutions are not making the greatest progress possible, according to her.

The protesters had a banner with the letters “R” on it. 1. P. The phrase “Never Again” is a pointed allusion to the Holocaust that Jews frequently use. “Everyone’s eyes on Rafah,” stated another banner. “.

Gregory Mauzé, of the Belgian-Palestinian Association, which also participated in the demonstration, said, “We are delighted that European Union officials are mobilizing, which contrasts with the great passivity of the European Commission.”.

The Israeli military described the campaign surrounding the crossing as a limited operation and gave no further information regarding the “targeted raids” that took place on Wednesday. “.

Though at least some Rafah residents were not hearing gunfire, Hamas responded defiantly, promising to counter any challenge to what it called “Palestinian-Egyptian sovereignty” at the crossing.

Israel’s air force claimed to have hit “over 100 terror targets” in the last twenty-four hours, encompassing rocket launch pads and military buildings. The Israeli bombardment since Tuesday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, has resulted in “a significant increase in the numbers of dead and wounded,” especially in Rafah.

It stated that in the previous day, Israeli forces had killed 55 people and injured 200 more throughout the entire territory, but it did not give exact figures for the number of deaths in Rafah.

Ambulance and civil defense crews are unable to reach several victims who are still under the debris and on the streets, according to a statement from the ministry.

Rafah is now home to about a million people who were displaced from other parts of the enclave and are primarily housed in large tent encampments. The Israelis moved into the city the day after the military ordered about 110,000 people to evacuate a portion of the city. That order has led to the closure of some health facilities whose staff members fled, the health ministry said.

Scott Anderson is an employee of UNRWA, the U.S. N. organization that supports Palestinian refugees stated that since Israel took control of the crossing, no aid had reached the Gaza Strip.

In an online statement, he claimed, “The Rafah crossing area has ongoing military operations—there have been continued bombardments in this area throughout the day.”. “It is catastrophic for the humanitarian response that no fuel or aid has reached the Gaza Strip. “.

The western portion of Rafah, which was excluded from Israel’s evacuation order this week, is where Majdi Ahmed, 31, and eight other people spent their Wednesday night in a tent.

Mr. Ahmed said that he and the other people in the tent had been watching bombs fall and listening to explosions ever since Israel started its incursion. He claimed that one of the bombs had hit the municipal offices in Rafah. Yet he claimed that Hamas did not appear to be making much of an effort.

Mr. Ahmed, a former taxi driver in Jabaliya, northern Gaza, said, “Everyone here can hear the strikes on Rafah.”. However, we don’t hear any fire exchange. To me, it seems more like a one-sided situation. “.

He said that several families fleeing the eastern part of Rafah had sent up their tents since the day before, but some had also fled the area to seek safety elsewhere in Gaza, fearing that Israel would soon push into the rest of Rafah.

Mr. Ahmed and his family, however, did not move.

This was partially due to his desire to confirm whether he could still get his wife and child through the border crossing under Israeli control, having paid $7,500 to do so this week. Additionally, Mr. Dot Ahmed stated that they stayed because it seemed futile to look for safety elsewhere.

He remarked, “I usually think this is a safe area.”. “Nowhere is safe, even though I am aware of it.”. “.

Hey, Mr. In an effort to broker a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas that would result in the release of Palestinian prisoners detained in Israel and hostages held in Gaza, Burns has been traveling back and forth throughout the region in recent days.

On Tuesday, the delegations from Israel arrived, just hours after Israeli tanks and troops invaded Rafah in southern Gaza and took over the border crossing with Egypt. This action prevented humanitarian aid from entering the enclave.

The term “sustainable calm,” which is present in both the Israeli and Hamas-approved proposals, is the main source of disagreement in the negotiations. “.

The term “permanent end to the war” and “complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip” are precisely defined in Hamas’s revision. Mr. Netanyahu has consistently opposed any deal that explicitly calls for a permanent cease-fire, saying Israeli forces would not stop fighting in Gaza until Hamas is destroyed and the hostages are released.

Mr. Netanyahu stated on Tuesday that the updated Hamas proposal was “very far from Israel’s core demands.”. In his statement, he went on to say that “securing the release of our hostages requires military pressure on Hamas.”. “.

Hey, Mr. Netanyahu, who is under pressure from the United States and other allies to agree to a cease-fire, said that while he had sent a midlevel delegation back to the talks, “in tandem, we continue waging the war on Hamas. “.

A spokesperson for the White House, John F. According to Kirby, there should be no reason why the negotiations can’t close those last few gaps, even though they are in a “sensitive stage.”. Analysts predicted that Israel’s incursion into Rafah would either sabotage the negotiations or increase the pressure on Hamas to reach an agreement.

According to the Israeli military, it entered the city to demolish Hamas infrastructure that was utilized in an attack over the weekend near a different border crossing—this one from Israel into Gaza—that claimed the lives of four Israeli soldiers.

It didn’t seem to be the full-scale ground invasion of Rafah that Israel and its allies have been trying to prevent for a long time. It was referred to by the Israeli military as “a very precise” counterterrorism operation.

The previous week, President Biden stopped an arms shipment to stop U. S. administration officials stated on Tuesday night Washington time, a sign of the widening divide with Israel over how to handle the war. -made weapons from being used in a long-threatened assault on Rafah. It was the first time since October that Mr. Biden had utilized his authority to limit armaments to affect Israel’s strategy in the war when he decided to postpone the delivery of 3,500 bombs. Seven attacks spearheaded by Hamas.

From Washington, Peter Baker and Isabel Kershner provided reporting, respectively.

The crossing with Egypt was shut down on Monday night after Israel launched an incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Although the UN and a number of governments have called for Israel to reopen Kerem Shalom in order to prevent exacerbating the already dire situation, that crossing remains closed as of this writing.

Jens Laerke, a representative for the U.S. N. humanitarian office in Geneva, the UN was determining how soon relief supplies could start up again. “Once a drop has been made and pickup has started on the other side, we can only confirm,” he stated. Prior to this, aid trucks were reported to be arriving at the crossing and would enter Gaza following inspection by COGAT, the Israeli organization in charge of organizing supplies into Gaza.

Director of Communications Juliette Touma oversees the main U.S. Not N. “No supplies have come in yet” through Kerem Shalom, according to UNRWA, an organization that supports Palestinians in Gaza.

Beginning in October, the daily amount of aid entering Gaza has varied. 7 but U. Not N. Data indicates that overall, compared to before the war, there are roughly 75% fewer trucks passing through Kerem Shalom and Rafah. Commercial imports have also all but stopped, which contributes to the issue.

The amount of aid trucks entering Gaza, which this month average 180 per day through the two main crossing points combined, according to aid experts, is also insufficient to address the hunger crisis. They claim that in order to do that, a great deal more trucks would need to be brought in, relief workers would need to arrive, Palestinian medical professionals would need to be trained to treat malnourished patients, medical facilities would need to be restored, and most importantly, there would need to be an end to the hostilities.

Apart from the crossing points in the south, COGAT reported on Tuesday that sixty trucks had entered northern Gaza through the Erez crossing, which was reopened by Israel on the insistence of the Biden administration following the death of seven aid workers in an Israeli airstrike last month.

Ms. Touma, however, asserted that overall, “much more” aid must reach Gaza because supplies were not routinely passing through Erez.

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