update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Biden admin reportedly delaying arms shipments to Israel

U.S. officials claimed there is no change in policy or any deliberate slowdown in delivering promised military aid.

U.S. President Joe Biden disembarks Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport, Feb. 20, 2024. Photo by Adam Schultz/White House.
U.S. President Joe Biden disembarks Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport, Feb. 20, 2024. Photo by Adam Schultz/White House.

The Biden administration has begun slow-walking some military aid to Israel as the IDF offensive against Hamas enters a crucial stage, according to a senior official in Jerusalem cited by ABC News over the weekend.

According to the Israeli official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, military aid shipments at the beginning of the war were coming “very fast,” but Jerusalem is “now finding that it’s very slow.”

The official said he was not sure what the cause was, but that Jerusalem was aware of President Joe Biden’s frustration with the conflict and his demand that Israel do more to provide humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip.

When asked about the allegations by ABC, U.S. officials claimed there was no change in official policy or any deliberate delay in delivering previously promised aid or weapons to the Israel Defense Forces.

But Politico reported last week that Biden is considering conditioning military aid to Israel if it decides to move forward with its conquest of the last Hamas stronghold of Rafah in the southern Strip.

In a March 10 interview with MSNBCBiden said that invading Rafah is a “red line,” before clarifying that “I’m never going to leave Israel. The defense of Israel is still critical, so there’s no red line [where] I’m going to cut off all weapons so they don’t have the Iron Dome to protect them.”

He then suggested that more civilian casualties would be a red line, citing the Hamas figures of 30,000 Palestinians allegedly killed in the war. According to the IDF, at least 13,000 terrorists are among the dead.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasized that telling Israel to refrain from operating in Rafah is tantamount to demanding that it lose the war against the terrorists.

Netanyahu told Fox News on Sunday that Biden’s “red line” is tantamount to demanding that “after the allies fought back, gone through Normandy, went through Germany and say: ‘Well, we’ll leave a quarter of the Nazi army in place and we won’t go into Berlin, the last stronghold.

“I think that if the president means by that that we should first enable the safe departure of the civilian population from Rafah before we go in; we agree with that, we don’t need any prompting,” Netanyahu said.

“Look, the president and I have agreed that we have to destroy Hamas. We can’t leave a quarter of the Hamas terror army in place; they’re there in Rafah,” he added.

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