Biden Places a Hold on Shipments of Arms and Ammunition to Israel


The Biden White House has put a temporary halt to shipments of weapons and ammunition to Israel in response to Israel’s planned clearance of Hamas terrorists from Gaza and the uproar that has caused among a key Biden and Democrat voting demographic as November’s elections approach.


This comes after the White House demanded written assurances from the Netanyahu government that US weapons and ammunition were being used within the constraints of international law. The White House started telegraphing this move several weeks ago when the State Department slapped sanctions on Israeli settlers for defending themselves and threatened sanctions against three Israeli Army battalions for alleged law of land warfare violations.

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Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel and put Netanyahu on notice that any invasion of Rafah could lead to the US reevaluating its support of Israel.

Blinken’s check-in with Netanyahu on aid will take place about a month after U.S. President Joe Biden issued a stark warning to Netanyahu, saying Washington’s policy could shift if Israel fails to take steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers.

The White House is trying to deter Israel from invading the Gaza city of Rafah free hostages because of concern about how the million-plus Palestinians in that area will be managed. Even as “truce” talks are underway between Israel and Hamas via Qatari and Egyptian intermediaries, Netanyahu has sworn to do what it takes to eliminate Hamas no matter the outcome of the talks.

Netanyahu said Israel would enter Rafah, which Israel says is Hamas’ last stronghold, regardless of whether a truce-for-hostages deal is struck. His comments appeared to be meant to appease his nationalist governing partners but it was not clear whether they would have any bearing on any emerging deal with Hamas.

“The idea that we will stop the war before achieving all of its goals is out of the question,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office. “We will enter Rafah and we will eliminate Hamas’ battalions there — with or without a deal, to achieve the total victory.”


To be fair, there is no sign that Hamas is doing anything in the negotiations beyond dragging them out as international pressure continues to build on Israel to end the war.

Neither can the whole situation be viewed outside the context of US domestic politics. The Venn Diagram of Biden voters and Hamas terrorist supporters has a lot of overlap, and the dissatisfaction with Biden’s support of Israel is beginning to show in polling in Michigan. There is a non-trivial chance that halting shipments of weapons and ammunition to Israel has more to do with Dearborn than it has to do with Rafah.