What happened?

  • The US halted a shipment of bombs to Israel last week due to concerns over plans to invade the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

  • The shipment contained 1,800 2,000-lb bombs and 1,700 500-lb bombs.

  • Concerns were raised over Israel’s potential full-scale assault on Rafah against US wishes.

What is International media saying:

  • President Biden threatened to halt the supply of American weapons to Israel if they expand military operations in the Gaza sector towards the southern city of Rafah. [rg.ru, hurriyetdailynews.com, newsweek.com, kp.ru]

  • Biden stated that the US will continue to supply Israel with defensive weapons, including the Iron Dome missile defense system, but other deliveries will cease in the event of a major ground invasion of Rafah. [rg.ru, hurriyetdailynews.com]

  • Biden criticized civilian casualties from U.S. bombs in Palestine, and Washington’s decision to halt a shipment of bombs to Israel was a warning based on how Israel treats civilians. [hurriyetdailynews.com, rg.ru]

  • Biden emphasized the importance of ensuring Israel’s security through tools like Iron Dome, but is changing policy by conditioning weapon supplies to Israel on their behavior, a significant shift. [tass.com, washingtontimes.com]

  • Pressure is mounting on Biden from the Democratic Party and some Americans to restrain Israeli military operations in Gaza as civilian casualties rise, and Israel has the right to pursue Hamas fighters but not starve civilians. [nytimes.com, bbc.com]

What is Israeli media saying:

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer supports President Joe Biden’s decision to pause the delivery of 3,500 bombs to Israel, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Mike Johnson expressed concerns about the delay in arms shipment to Israel and the in-progress reviews of Israel’s wartime conduct. [israelnationalnews.com, jpost.com]

  • Biden stated that civilians in Gaza have been killed due to the airstrikes, including the 900-kilo bombs that were halted last week and intended for Israel, and he clarified that if the situation escalates in Rafah, he will not supply weapons previously used in Gaza but currently designated for Rafah combat. [bhol.co.il]

  • The Republican leaders have urged immediate expedited security assistance for Israel, questioned Defense Secretary Austin and General Brown on pausing the arms shipment, and emphasized the urgent priority of security assistance to Israel, which should not be delayed. [israelnationalnews.com, jpost.com]

  • Biden’s message is influenced by internal American political pressures regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and he has shown empathy towards Jews and Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day while also criticizing Hamas for their actions towards Israelis. [bhol.co.il, jpost.com]

  • Biden stated that the US will continue to provide Israel with defensive weapons, including Iron Dome, but offensive weapon shipments will cease if a major ground invasion of Rafah begins, and Israeli officials expressed deep frustration to senior Americans over the halting of weapon shipments and American media reports about the decision. [bhol.co.il]

What is Arab media saying:

  • The US government stated that Israel informed them the attack on Rafah was a “limited operation”. [balkans.aljazeera.net]

  • Over 1 million civilians shelter in Rafah, after evacuating parts of Gaza amidst Israel’s conflict with Hamas. [english.aawsat.com, arabnews.com]

  • Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned that Israel’s control over the Rafah crossing and closure to aid entry increases the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. [balkans.aljazeera.net]

  • The UN Deputy Secretary-General claims that Israel’s evacuation orders and ground operation in Rafah lead to increased suffering and displacement, preventing fuel delivery and limiting aid movement. [balkans.aljazeera.net]

  • Israel’s War Cabinet decided to continue the military operation in Rafah to pressure Hamas and achieve war goals. [balkans.aljazeera.net]