U.S. Pauses A Shipment Of Weapons To Israel

May 8, 2024

We have paused one shipment of near-term assistance, and we are reviewing others, but that said, our long-term commitment to Israel’s security has not changed.

United States Department of State Spokesman Matthew Miller in a press briefing on Wednesday confirming that the U.S. has paused a shipment of weapons to Israel due to concerns Israel may launch a full-scale operation in Rafah, a southern city in Gaza where more than one million civilians have taken shelter amidst the Israel-Hamas war.

Why It Matters: Miller said the Biden administration made this decision “in the context of the unfolding situation in Rafah,” and that a final decision has not yet been made on the future of the shipment (which reportedly includes thousands of bombs for Israel’s use). Miller said Israel has not yet presented “a credible humanitarian plan” for protecting civilians in a full-out invasion of Rafah, something Miller said, “the U.S. does not support.” While Miller and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin both reaffirmed the U.S.’ support for Israel on Wednesday, this news marks a change in the delivery of military aid to Israel.

Big Picture: On Tuesday, Israel seized a border crossing in Rafah in an operation the Biden administration has described as alimited operation designed to cut off Hamas’ ability to smuggle more weapons and funding into Gaza. According to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, more than 34,500 people have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war, which started in October 2023 following Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, where Hamas, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, killed more than 1,000 people and took more than 200 people hostage.

Read More:

Watch the press briefing HERE.

US paused bomb shipment to Israel to signal concerns over Rafah invasion, official says (The Associated Press)

US paused Israel weapons shipment due to Rafah: US defense secretary (Reuters)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas