US: Paused bomb shipment to Israel over Rafah concerns : The Tribune India

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US: Paused bomb shipment to Israel over Rafah concerns

US: Paused bomb shipment to Israel over Rafah concerns

People receive food cooked by a charity kitchen in Rafah. REUTERS



Washington, May 8

The US paused a shipment of bombs to Israel last week over concerns that the country was approaching a decision on launching a full-scale assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah against the wishes of the US, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said Wednesday.

The shipment was supposed to consist of 1,800 2,000-pound (900-kg) bombs and 1,700 500-pound (225-kg) bombs, according to the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The focus of US concern was the larger explosives and how they could be used in a dense urban setting like Rafah where more than 1 million civilians are sheltering after evacuating other parts of Gaza amid Israel's war on Hamas, which came after the militant group's deadly attack on Israel on October 7.

Austin confirmed the weapons delay, telling the Senate Appropriations Defence subcommittee that the US paused “one shipment of high payload munitions.” “We're going to continue to do what's necessary to ensure that Israel has the means to defend itself,” Austin said.

“But that said, we are currently reviewing some near-term security assistance shipments in the context of unfolding events in Rafah.” The pausing of the aid shipment is the most striking manifestation of the growing daylight between Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and the Joe Biden administration. — AP

Tel Aviv says key Gaza crossing reopened, but UN says no aid yet

  • The Israeli military said on Wednesday it has reopened its Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza after days of closure, but the UN said no humanitarian aid has yet entered in the area
  • The Kerem Shalom crossing was closed over the weekend after a Hamas rocket attack killed four Israeli soldiers nearby, and on Tuesday, an Israeli tank brigade seized the nearby Rafah crossing

Must protect civilians

We’ve been very clear from the beginning that Israel shouldn’t launch a major attack in Rafah without accounting for and protecting the civilians who are in that battlespace. — Lloyd Austin, US defence secy

#Gaza #Israel #United States of America USA #Washington


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