Biden halted an arms shipment to Israel in the face of the Rafah attack

Biden halted an arms shipment to Israel in the face of the Rafah attack

BarcelonaThe Biden administration halted an arms shipment to Israel last week as it prepared to attack Rafah in southern Gaza. This was confirmed in various media outlets this morning by high-ranking US officials, who say that Washington made the decision when it became clear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was carrying out the attack on the Palestinian city without US approval. United State. At least 1.5 million people seek refuge in this city, most of whom were displaced due to bombings in other areas of the Strip.

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The White House, which is the main supplier of weapons to Israel, decided to review the transfers, especially those weapons that could be used by the Israeli army in the declared ground invasion of southern Gaza. As a senior official told Reuters, the shipment in question consisted of 1,800 900-kg bombs and 1,700 220-kg bombs. “We are particularly focused on the end use of the 900 kg bombs and the impact they could have on dense urban environments as we have seen in other parts of Gaza. We have not made a final decision on how to proceed with this shipment.” The official said. It is not clear whether this shipment also includes bomb guidance systems manufactured by the American company Boeing.

According to Shir Hever, a security and defense analyst for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, the intensity of the bombing in Gaza means that Israel needs to replenish its arsenals every three days, so relying on US supplies is crucial.

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Support the “ferry” to Israel

Another senior official explained to Washington Post This move was a way to pressure Netanyahu to stop the attack on Rafah, but it was not confirmed whether shipments of other types of weapons would continue or if the halt would be more general, and the White House and the Pentagon did not want that. To make statements on this topic. After the Rafah attack, the public discourse in Washington did not change: White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized that the commitment to Israel’s security was “unwavering.” The Pentagon on Monday denied making a political decision to halt arms supplies to Israel, the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East.

Biden faces the wear and tear of his policy of unconditional support for Israel, exacerbated by police crackdowns on university camps in solidarity with Palestine and already evident in January with the blank-vote sweepstakes in the Democratic primaries. The student sit-ins at one hundred American universities focused specifically on transferring weapons to Israel.

In the worst moment in US-Israel relations, Biden warned Netanyahu that the attack on Rafah was a “red line” because of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences it would have and because it would lead to a dangerous escalation throughout the region. Washington also demands that Netanyahu leave Gaza in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, something that the Tel Aviv government is not considering.

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