Biden Admin Will Push Ahead With Arms Package Bound For Israel

( – Recently, President Joe Biden paused a shipment of large bombs to Israel, concerned about the country’s military using them in Rafah, where over a million Gazans are taking refuge. The US leader indicated the halt was done to take a beat and ensure that the Israeli military was taking appropriate steps to minimize civilian casualties. Many lawmakers blasted Biden for the move, even going so far as to call for his impeachment.

On May 14, congressional aides claimed that the Biden administration now told Congress it was moving ahead with plans to sell over $1 billion worth of weapons to Israel. The sale would reportedly include tactical vehicles and ammunition to continue supporting the country in its efforts to defend itself. However, it does not seem like Biden has changed his stance on his red line — an attack on Rafah.

When asked about the plan, the State Department reportedly directed news outlets to recent comments from White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The advisor previously stated that Israel had a right to defend itself from threats and that the president was “clear he would not supply certain offensive weapons” for an offensive in Rafah. However, he said the US is still working with Israel to make sure Hamas is defeated in Gaza — “including in Rafah.” The United States will also supply Israel with the equipment to “respond to attacks” and keep the Iron Dome in working order.

Representative Ritchie Torres (D-NY) and US weapons expert Seth Binder expressed concern that the United States is sending mixed messages to Israel about its commitment to the allied nation. The New York lawmaker said the US can’t say its “commitment to Israel is iron-clad” while withholding aid. Binder said that “muddying [the administration’s] message” could weaken Biden’s ability to influence Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

While the PM did send tanks into Rafah, he assured it was a limited operation targeting Hamas fighters. Israeli forces recently ordered 110,000 civilians in Rafah to evacuate.

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