U.S. Says It Won’t Provide Israel Weapons For Rafah

May 9, 2024

We think it’s imperative that we do more to protect civilians in the battle space, and that’s the real issue.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin responding to a question from Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing on Wednesday.

Why It Matters: On Wednesday, the U.S. confirmed halting a weapons shipment to Israel due to concerns Israel may soon launch a full-scale offensive in Rafah, a southern city in Gaza where more than one million civilians have taken shelter amidst the Israel-Hamas war. The shipment that was paused reportedly included thousands of large bombs for Israel’s use. Following confirmation of the pause, President Joe Biden said the U.S. would not provide offensive weapons that could be used by Israel for a full-scale operation in Rafah, noting, “We’re not walking away from Israel’s security. We’re walking away from Israel’s ability to wage war in those areas.”

Read More: Biden says US won’t supply weapons for Israel to attack Rafah, in warning to ally (The Associated Press)

Biden says he will stop sending bombs and artillery shells to Israel if it launches major invasion of Rafah (CNN)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas