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Netanyahu claims the US is withholding weapons from Israel

The White House has responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertions that the US is “withholding” arms and ammunition from Israel, hours after he lashed out at the Biden administration.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed a continued halt on one specific shipment of bombs, mirroring comments made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken hours earlier. Still, she insisted no further weapons were being withheld. “We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about,” Ms Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday. Mr Netanyahu’s statements were an attempt to remove the embargo on a single weapons supply announced by the White House last month due to how the arms were deployed in Gaza. “America’s closest ally, fighting for its life,” he declared of Israel.

Netanyahu claims US withholding weapons from Israel

Netanyahu claims the US is withholding weapons from Israel:

Mr. Netanyahu said Mr Blinken, who visited Israel last week, promised to “work day and night to remove the bottlenecks.” At a news conference in Washington, Mr. Blinken said that the administration was still holding back a batch of bombs from Israel due to worries over their use in Gaza’s metropolitan areas but that the situation was being reviewed. Reporters repeatedly questioned him about what he had told Mr Netanyahu, but he refused to elaborate on what he described as a diplomatic conversation.

Mr Netanyahu has regularly attempted to pander to his home nationalist constituency, claiming that Israeli officials have a unique ability to obtain concessions from US leaders. Controversy over the US sending guns to Israel has escalated in America and Europe, as has the degree of destruction in Gaza, and the subject has become a lightning point for protest and dissent. Mr Netanyahu has been vehemently opposed to any attempts to curb arms shipments.

Last month, a senior administration source told the BBC that the delivery of thousands of 2000lb and other bombs had been halted, marking the first delay in US armaments to Israel. The United States is by far Israel’s largest supplier of weaponry and ammunition. By law, it provides Israel with $3.8 billion (£3 billion) in military aid each year. Last month, the US Congress enacted legislation providing an additional $14 billion in military support. Senator Cardin, a firm friend of Israel and the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee did not publicly express his worries.

Mr Meeks, whose office has been contacted for comment, has been vocal in his opposition to the sale, expressing worries over Israel’s actions in the battle against Hamas. Mr. Meeks is the leading Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “I don’t want the kinds of weapons that Israel has used to result in more death,” he said in an April interview with CNN. However, after months of delay and rising pressure from the Biden administration, Mr Cardin and Mr Meeks finally approved the transaction three weeks ago, according to the Post.

President Joe Biden has faced rising criticism within his party about Israel’s handling of the conflict and the US’s sustained military assistance. Republicans, however, have continued to criticize the delay in the deployment of arms to Israel. Congressman Russell Fry of South Carolina called the weapons holdup “reprehensible” last month, writing on X that “the United States must stand with Israel.” Period”. In response to an extraordinary strike on southern Israel on October 7, the Israeli military launched an operation in Gaza to crush Hamas, killing around 1,200 people and holding 251 more captive. More than 37,340 Palestinians have died in Gaza since then, according to the territory’s Hamas-controlled health ministry.

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