U.S. Pauses Israel Arms Shipment Over Rafah Assault Concerns, Biden Calls For Cease-Fire – One America News Network

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike east of Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike east of Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

OAN’s James Meyers
8:22 AM – Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The United States halted a large shipment of offensive weapons to Israel, citing an increasing concern of a military offensive by Israeli forces in Rafah. 


The decision comes as President Joe Biden has recently called for Israel and Hamas to reach a cease-fire deal that would in hopes stop a large-scale assault on the city in Gaza, which has over a million Palestinians occupying it. 

A U.S. official on Tuesday confirmed that at least one shipment of bombs was delayed this week. 

The weapons shipment included 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs, according to a senior administration official. 

“The US 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 senior US administration official said on Tuesday.

“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.”

“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.”

The Biden administration had been “especially focused” on ending Israel’s use of 2,000-pound bombs in its offensive in Gaza, citing the impact they have had on urban areas.

Despite U.S. opposition, Israel has already begun the invasion in Rafah, which is considered Hamas’ last major stronghold in Gaza. 

Meanwhile, U.S. officials have warned that the operation in the city could lead to mass civilian casualties. 

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari told a news conference that the U.S. had provided “unprecedented” security assistance since the beginning of the war. He added that the disputes between the allies were resolved “behind closed doors in a matter-of-fact way.”

“We are responsible for the security interests of the State of Israel, and we are attentive to the interest of the United States in the region,” he said.

Tuesday night, there were more Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, hours after Israeli forces took control of the Palestinians side of the key Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt.

Rafah is considered a key entry point for aid and the only exit for people able to flee since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. 

On Monday, the Israeli military ordered thousands of civilians to begin evacuating nearby eastern parts of Rafah, ahead of what they said is an operation to eliminate Hamas fighters and wipe them out. 

Israel declared war on Hamas in response to the terrorist organizations attack on the Jewish State, which left over 1,200 people dead and 252 others being taken hostage. 

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James Meyers
Author: James Meyers

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