Biden Administration Denies Netanyahu’s Allegations on Withheld Weapons

Biden Administration Denies Netanyahu's Allegations on Withheld Weapons

The United States claims it has no idea what the Israeli prime minister is talking about.

The Biden administration on Tuesday denied Benjamin Netanyahu’s accusation that Washington has been “withholding weapons and ammunitions” from its close partner for the “past few months.” The Israeli leader suggested that this was impeding his military’s current attack in Gaza, which is now centered on the southern city of Rafah.

“We honestly don’t know what he’s talking about. “We just don’t,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated, claiming that only one shipment of heavy bombs had been halted since the war began, while billions of dollars in armaments had continued to flow into Israel.

The White House denied canceling a high-level meeting with Israeli officials over Iran after being outraged by Netanyahu’s claim. A White House official told NBC News that the meeting’s details had not to be confirmed, “so nothing has been canceled.”

U.S. officials stated that they did not want to “reward” Israel with the meeting, which was “not locked” in a definitive timetable and had been “postponed.” Officials stated that it is still expected to happen.

Meetings with Israeli officials were held throughout the week, according to a White House official, “on a range of topics.”

“As we said in the briefing yesterday, we have no idea what the prime minister is talking about, but that’s not a reason for rescheduling a meeting,” said a government official.

The United Nations human rights office also stated on Wednesday that the Israeli military’s assault on the Palestinian enclave was most certainly “consistently violating” the laws of war, noting the use of heavy munitions. The latest estimate came as attention shifted north to Israel’s border with Lebanon, where Israel and the Iran-backed militant organization Hezbollah have increased their exchanges of fire and rhetoric while the US attempts to avoid an all-out conflict.

Netanyahu made his critique in a video message on X, claiming that he raised the matter of withheld weaponry with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his recent visit to Israel.

“I said I deeply appreciated the support the U.S. has given Israel from the beginning of the war,” Netanyahu says in the footage, addressing directly to the camera in English. “But I did say something else. I said it is unthinkable that the administration has been withholding arms and ammunition from Israel in recent months.” Netanyahu did not specify which weapons were being withheld, but he did say Blinken told him the US was working to “remove these bottlenecks.”

In a news briefing on Tuesday, Blinken stated that he would not divulge what was mentioned during diplomatic meetings with Netanyahu. He did, however, stress that the White House’s view had not changed.

“Our posture is, again, to make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself across these many threats,” he said, as two senior Democrats in Congress approved a $15 billion sale of F-15 fighter jets to Israel after a delay, according to The Associated Press.

Blinken cited “one case,” which NBC News reported in May, in which the US stopped a significant supply of offensive weapons due to Israel’s plans to mount a military offensive in Rafah.

President Joe Biden threatened to halt other shipments of certain arms if Israel launched a full-fledged assault on Rafah, but Washington has maintained that Israel has not crossed its red lines, despite an intensifying campaign in the city in southern Gaza that was once considered a safe zone.

Blinken stated that the government is still reviewing the “one shipment” that was withheld, but “everything else is moving as it normally would.”

In a news briefing, Jean-Pierre stated that the shipment of heavy bombs was the only one being delayed, and that the US was in “constructive discussions” with Israel concerning the transfer.

Netanyahu’s staff declined to respond.

The latest dispute between the two allies occurred as Netanyahu faced increasing internal pressure over the war’s outcome.

Israel has warned that it may launch a new offensive along its northern border with Lebanon as hostilities with Hezbollah escalate.

The United States and France have been working on a diplomatic settlement, and Netanyahu met with US ambassador Amos Hochstein earlier this week.

However, the Israeli military announced Tuesday that “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon” have been “approved and validated.”

Meanwhile, Hezbollah released video purportedly acquired by surveillance aircraft over sections of Israel, including Haifa’s seaport and airport.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded in an X post, stating that Israel was “getting very close to the moment of decision to change the rules of the game with Hezbollah and Lebanon.”

“In a full-scale war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be severely hit,” according to him.

Hostilities continued Wednesday, with the IDF reporting that approximately 15 rockets were fired from Lebanon at the district of Kiryat Shmona in Israel’s north, with no injuries recorded.

It said Israeli fighter planes also targeted a Hezbollah military complex in Tyre, on southern Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast, as well as “terrorist infrastructure” in neighboring Khiam.


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