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US Halts Weapon Shipment to Israel Over Civilian Concerns Amid Gaza Conflict

Despite the ongoing provision of United States weaponry to Israel, the Biden administration has halted one shipment of bombs over concerns about their potential use in harming Palestinian civilians during a possible assault.

A senior US official disclosed that the administration has reviewed weapons deliveries that Israel might employ in a significant operation in Rafah, a southern Gaza city where over 1 million civilians have sought refuge. Consequently, a shipment of bombs to Israel has been put on hold.

This delay, estimated to be worth “tens of millions” of US dollars, has prompted congressional aides to raise questions. Additionally, other military equipment, such as joint direct attack munitions (JDAMs) and tank rounds, scheduled for delivery to Israel, is facing delays in the approval process.

President Biden has issued a warning to Israel that the US would cease weapon supplies in the event of a major invasion of Rafah. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, resulting in significant civilian casualties and displacement in Gaza, has raised concerns within the US government regarding the use of American-supplied weapons.

In a separate development, Representative Gregory Meeks has placed a hold on an $18 billion arms transfer package for Israel, including Boeing Co. F-15 aircraft, pending further information on their intended use.

These actions underscore a broader political challenge for President Biden, particularly among young Democrats, as he navigates support for Israel amid ongoing conflict. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pushed back against perceived pressure from the Biden administration, emphasizing Israeli resolve in the conflict.

The dynamics between the US and Israel reflect a delicate balance of strategic interests and moral considerations amidst a complex geopolitical landscape in the Middle East.

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