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Is Biden Serious About Halting Weapon Supply To Israel Over Rafah Offensive?

President Biden, who was an unconditional supporter of Israel since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, has taken a strict decision to cut off weapon supply in response to the ongoing Rafah offensive, a military assault the White House disagreed with. Delivery of 3500 bombs loaded in ships is halted following the attack on Rafah on Tuesday.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, President Biden disclosed that weapon policy toward Israel has changed post the Israeli air strike on Rafah. The White House was firm in its disagreement with a ground operation in Rafah without taking precautions regarding the civilian's safety. Based on that, President Biden halted a shipment of bombs to Israel. Reportedly, the shipment includes 1800 bombs, each weighing 2000 pounds, and 1700 bombs of 500 pounds. 

The 2000-pound bombs are capable of rupturing lungs and ripping limbs off a human body within a 35-meter radius. Some of these bombs (“dumb” )work in old ways, while the others are “smart” and can follow a target precisely. A military analyst explained the nature of the bombs,

“The dumb bomb – basically, you drop it from the plane, and it falls much in the same way as it did in World War One and World War Two and Vietnam. Smart bombs have additional elements: they have a smart nose that seeks the target. And It identifies it, and they have the smart back that guides the bomb to the target or gives it additional power to fly longer distances.”

US Congress approved the shipment worth $26.38 Billion in April, along with an additional $9 Billion for humanitarian purposes. Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the UN, gave a statement on Thursday mentioning the ban,

“This is a difficult and very disappointing statement to hear from a president to whom we have been grateful since the beginning of the war. Suppose Israel is restricted from entering an area as important and central as Rafah, where there are thousands of terrorists, hostages, and leaders of Hamas. How exactly are we supposed to achieve our goals?” 

The US has been spending $3 Billion annually to support foreign military, and the country has assisted Israel with $296 Billion worth of military equipment since 1946. However, the support has now wavered as Israel chose to neglect America’s continuous warnings on how to destroy Hamas without increasing civilian casualties. 

On Wednesday, Lloyd Austin, Defense Secretary, said at the US Senate hearing, We’ve been very clear…from the very beginning that Israel shouldn’t launch a major attack into Rafah without accounting for and protecting the civilians that are in that battle space.

Israel is currently under the scrutiny of the International Court of Justice, which has started an investigation into Israel’s violation of international war and humanitarian laws during the war that started on Oct 7.

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