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US confirms withholding large shipment of bombs to Israel out of concern they will be used in 'dense urban settings'

2,000-pound bombs (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The Biden administration confirmed on Tuesday evening that it would withhold a large shipment of bombs from being sent to its intended destination in Israel.

An anonymous official told Reuters that the United States began a review of the bomb shipment back in April.

"As a result of that review, we have paused one shipment of weapons last week,” the official said, confirming that the shipment consisted of 1,800 units of 2,000-pound bombs and another 1,700 units of 500-pound bombs.

This was reportedly the first time the U.S. had enacted such a pause since the war began last October.

The Biden administration's reason for holding up the shipment was concern over Israel potentially using the bombs in "dense urban settings" in southern Gaza, an apparent reference to the IDF's planned operation in Rafah, near Gaza's southern border with Egypt, according to reports.

"We are especially focused on the end-use of the 2,000-lb bombs and the impact they could have in dense urban settings as we have seen in other parts of Gaza,” the anonymous official said. “We have not made a final determination on how to proceed with this shipment."

Nearly one and a half million Gazans have been sheltering in Rafah, many of them having fled from their homes in the north due to Israeli military operations against the Hamas terrorist organization.

The Times of Israel reported that U.S. officials oppose Israel’s current plan to invade Rafah, and had been meeting with Israeli officials “to present alternatives for how Israel could target Hamas in [Rafah] without conducting a full-scale invasion."

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already warned that the IDF would launch an incursion into Rafah.

The IDF announced on Monday morning that it had begun warning civilians living in eastern Rafah to evacuate to an expanded humanitarian area in al-Mawasi, between Khan Younis and the Mediterranean Sea. 

Israeli troops began a targeted operation in eastern Rafah late Monday evening after the War Cabinet unanimously decided to go ahead with the operation.

On Tuesday morning, the IDF announced it had captured the Gaza side of the Rafah Border Crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip during the overnight operation.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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