‘Unusual’ – US Postpones Arms Shipment to Israel but Pledges ‘Ironclad Commitment’

May 8, 2024

If intentional, this pause on the JDAMs would mark a significant policy shift since the onset of the current war.

The US administration of Joe Biden administration has postponed the transfer of thousands of precision-guided weapons to Israel, amid speculations that Washington is intentionally delaying weapon deliveries due to increasing political pressure domestically, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the report, the US stance also aligns with its opposition to Israel’s plans to invade Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Despite external pressure to restrict arms sales due to concerns over civilian casualties and damage in Gaza from the US-supplied weapons, the White House has remained publicly committed.

The proposed deal, revealed to Congress in January, involves up to 6,500 Joint Direct Attack Munitions -kits that convert bombs into precision-guided munitions -valued at approximately $260 million. However, the Biden administration has not yet formally proceeded with the sale, according to WSJ.

“It’s unusual, especially for Israel, especially during a war,” a congressional official familiar with the arms sales process was quoted as saying, though admitting that “they didn’t know the reason for the delay.”

White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby refrained from commenting on potential halts to arms sales to Israel, emphasizing during a briefing that the US maintains a steadfast commitment to Israel’s security.

If intentional, this pause on the JDAMs would mark a significant policy shift since the onset of the current war.

Moreover, since March, the Biden administration has reportedly also stalled on advancing notifications for an additional $1 billion in arms deals for Israel, which include tank ammunition, military vehicles, and mortar rounds.

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These proposed transfers encompass $700 million in 120 mm tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles, and nearly $100 million in 120 mm mortar rounds. Delivery of these items would span months to years.

‘Behind Closed Doors’

Despite downplaying the dispute in public, NBC cited an Israeli official as saying that there is deep frustration in Israel over the US decision.

Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari reportedly said on Wednesday that the two allies would resolve any disagreements “behind closed doors.”

An Israeli official, however, reportedly said that tensions had already been running high after Israel felt the US allowed it “to be blindsided by Hamas’ announcement earlier this week that it was accepting a version of a cease-fire proposal.”

‘Ironclad Commitment’

However, during his address for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s annual ceremony, Biden reiterated his unwavering support for Israel and its “security”, despite acknowledging disagreements with Israeli leaders over their military actions in Gaza.

“My commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, to the security of Israel and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad, even when we disagree” Biden reportedly said.

Biden also compared the Holocaust and the military operation carried out by the Palestinian Resistance on October 7, stating that both were “driven by the ancient desire to wipe out the Jewish people off the face of the Earth.”

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

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According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,844 Palestinians have been killed, and 78,404 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

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