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White House denies slowing down weapons sales to Israel

US has provided Israel with approximately 15,000 bombs and 57,000 artillery shells since the Hamas invasion and massacre on Oct. 7

The Pentagon is seen from the air in Washington, U.S., March 3, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo)

The U.S Biden administration on Sunday denied a report by NBC News that it was slowing down, or putting on hold, weapons sales to Israel.

According to three current U.S. officials and one former U.S. official, the Biden administration is considering taking steps to pressure Israel into scaling back its military operations in Gaza.

Sources told the NBC network that the Pentagon has been reviewing the list of weapons that Israel has requested, possibly to use as leverage and that the United States may consider reducing or pausing the sales of ammunition.

“Among the weaponry the U.S. has discussed using as leverage are 155 mm artillery rounds and joint direct attack munitions (JDAMs), which are guidance kits that convert dumb bombs into precision-guided munitions, the officials said. The officials said the administration is likely to continue to provide other conversion kits that make Israeli munitions more precise,” according to NBC.

A senior Israeli official told ALL ISRAEL NEWS in late December that Israel was in crucial need of ammunition to continue making progress in its war against Hamas.

“As we go into 2024, Israel needs three things to win – ammunition, ammunition and ammunition,” the official said. “We need ammunition of all kinds, but the more precision-guided missiles we have, the faster we can win and the fewer civilian casualties we will incur.”

NBC wrote that the U.S. is more likely to reduce weapons used for offensive military operations.

The U.S. is “not likely to slow the delivery of air defenses, though the idea was considered, as well as other systems that can defend Israeli civilians and infrastructure from attack. The administration is focused on offensive military equipment in its review of what it could possibly withhold or delay.”

The Biden administration denied the NBC report and said there was no change in Washington's commitment to Israel.

“Israel has a right and obligation to defend themselves against the threat of Hamas, while abiding by international humanitarian law and protecting civilian lives, and we remain committed to support Israel in its fight against Hamas. We have done so since Oct. 7, and will continue to. There has not been a change in our policy,” a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said.

The U.S. has reportedly provided Israel with approximately 15,000 bombs and 57,000 artillery shells since the Hamas invasion and massacre on Oct. 7.

Biden has fast-tracked munition export to Israel twice, bypassing Congress, amid the ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza.

However, Biden reportedly fears that the war in Gaza may jeopardize his reelection. An unnamed Biden adviser told the Axios media outlet the Biden administration “is very concerned about losing young voters, many of whom are opposed to the president’s policy on the Gaza war.”

In addition, another source close to the White House told Axios: “Biden can’t have the war and the growing death toll to continue dominating the news cycle as the elections get closer.”

In December, American Muslim leaders from several states, including Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania, launched a campaign against the reelection of Biden because of his support of Israel.

“We’re looking into finding ways to build a mechanism of coordination between all the swing states so that we’re constantly working together to ensure that Muslim Americans will come out in all of these states and that Mr. Biden will lose each and every one of them,” said Hassan Abdel Salam, a University of Minnesota professor and member of the #AbandonBiden National Coalition. 

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

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