Biden Admin Delaying Weapons Shipment To Israel: REPORT

The Biden administration is delaying military equipment to Israel in order to send a political message to the country’s government, Politico reported on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden and his administration have warned Israel to curtail its military operations against Hamas in Gaza, citing concerns over the humanitarian impact it would have on the region. The Biden administration is stalling on signing off on a new munitions package, apparently the first time it has done so since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, a U.S. official and six individuals familiar with deliberations told Politico.

The relevant officials and individuals were granted anonymity to speak freely on the matter.

The administration is holding up a sale of Boeing’s Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which includes munitions and the necessary equipment to modify them into smart weapons, as well as Small Diameter Bombs, which are precision-guided light-weight explosives, six defense industry and congressional sources familiar with the matter told Politico.

The Biden administration set a “red line” for Israel on invading Rafah, which the Israeli government sees as a key elementto winning the war as it is the location of the last remaining Hamas battalions. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operations began in the region on Tuesday.

The administration has refused to say publicly whether it would condition or delay military aid if Israel pushed into Rafah, although Biden was privately considering the option as of March, four U.S. officials previously told Politico.

“It’s something he’s definitely thought about,” one official told Politico.

Biden has come under pressure from within his voting base — and his own administration — to take a tougher stance on Israel’s military activities in Gaza and lead the call for a ceasefire. The relationship between Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become increasingly strained as the war has carried on.

The IDF’s operations on Tuesday focused on seizing a key border crossing in Rafah, as tanks and troops moved into the region for the first time since the Israel-Hamas war began. Israel issued a series of warnings to civilians in the region on Monday to start evacuating from the region and move to humanitarian zones for safety.

Israel and Hamas are currently negotiating a temporary ceasefire deal through international mediators that would see a pause in conflict in exchange for the release of several hostages in Hamas captivity. Hamas abruptly accepted a Qatari-Egyptian proposal on Monday, but Israel reportedly found the terms of the proposal unacceptable and a deal has yet to be reached.

“The U.S. commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad,” a defense official told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We do not discuss individual FMS/FMF cases, but I’ll note that the United States has surged billions of dollars in security assistance to Israel since the October 7 attacks, passed the largest ever supplemental appropriation for emergency assistance to Israel, led an unprecedented coalition to defend Israel against Iranian attacks, and will continue to do what is necessary to ensure Israel can defend itself from the threats it faces.”

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