Biden Tries to Slow Rafah Invasion, Bomb Shipments On Hold

( – The Biden administration is pausing the delivery of bombs to Israel over its recent decision to engage in a fresh round of military action in southern Gaza.

The Israeli military began operations to secure the Gazan side of the Gaza-Egypt crossing on the evening of Monday, May 7th after four of its soldiers were killed in an attack. Israeli officials claimed the attack originated in the area around the crossing and used the claim as a pretext to begin operations in the area.

Israeli officials had publicly announced their intention to siege Rafah, a city in the south of the territory where over a million refugees had settled. Israeli forces had herded the Palestinians into the south of the territory during previous waves of military activity. Shortly before beginning their operation in the eastern part of the city, they gave residents and refugees in the area just a few hours’ notice to evacuate.

Biden paused deliveries for two types of heavy precision bombs as a result. The shipment was to include 1,700 500-pound bombs and 1,800 2,000-pound bombs. It was placed on hold due to the probability that the Israelis may use them in Rafah. They have incredible destructive power which would inevitably cause civilian casualties in a densely populated city like Rafah.

An unnamed official within the administration told members of the press that their negotiations with the Israelis are ongoing, but have yet to indicate that they were putting sufficient safeguards in place to prevent civilian deaths. Specifically, the statement suggested the Israelis haven’t altered their operations from previous behavior in Gaza which the administration finds unacceptable.

Officials clarified that the paused shipment was previously authorized years ago and that this will not interrupt any recently approved financial aid for Israel. There is no word yet as to when the shipment will be authorized or if it won’t be sent at all. The same official acknowledged the approval of $827 million in weapons for Israel is still on its way.

Israeli officials announced control of the Rafah crossing on May 8th. They said they won’t stop their attack until Hamas is destroyed or the hostages are freed.

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