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US Bomb Shipment To Israel Under Review Over Possible Use In 'Densely Populated Area'

18.06.2024 19:27

Concerns over use of 2,000 pound bombs continues, says Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The US is continuing to review a shipment of bombs to Israel due to concerns over its possible use in a heavily populated area, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.

"We, as you know, are continuing to review one shipment that President Biden has talked about with regard to 2,000-pound (907-kilogram) bombs because of our concerns about their use in a densely populated area like Rafah that remains other under review," Blinken told a news conference in Washington, DC with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

"Everything else is moving as it normally would ... and again, with the perspective of making sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against this multiplicity of challenges," he added.

His remarks came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Blinken had assured him that the Biden administration is working to cancel restrictions on arms deliveries to Israel, in a war that has already killed or injured well over 100,000 people.

In early May, President Joe Biden paused the delivery of a weapons shipment that included 2,000-pound bombs which Israel previously used to flatten wide swathes of Gaza. His decision to halt the shipment was made due to his concerns over Israel's planned invasion of the southern city of Rafah, which then went forward despite international criticism.

Biden had said an invasion of Rafah would cross a "red line," but senior US officials later tried to backtrack, saying the president did not set any "red lines" for Israel as it carries out its offensive.

The president has faced a wave of protests nationwide, including from many of his traditional supporters, over his handling of the Gaza conflict.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Hamas.

More than 37,350 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and over 85,400 others injured, according to local health authorities.

More than eight months into the Israeli onslaught, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6. -

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