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US Calls Israel’s Criticism Of Weapons Deliveries ‘Deeply Disappointing’

  • NEWS, World
  • 3 min read

The White House on Thursday expressed disappointment over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent criticism of U.S. weapons deliveries to his country, calling the statements vexing.

“Those comments were deeply disappointing and certainly vexing to us, given the amount of support that we have and will continue to provide,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday.

In a video statement posted on Tuesday, Netanyahu said that although he was grateful for U.S. support for Israel during its ongoing war against Hamas, “it’s inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel.”

The United States, however, said that there is just one shipment of 2,000-pound [900 kilogram] and 500-pound [200 kilogram] bombs that was paused in May over worries about how they may be used in densely populated parts of Gaza. Israel was still set to receive billions of dollars in U.S. weaponry.

“There is one shipment of high payload munitions that we have put under review and that remains under review. That’s not a bottleneck. That’s a policy review,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Thursday.

A group of 30 United Nations experts on Thursday, meanwhile, warned that arms and ammunition manufacturers that continue to transfer weapons to Israel could be complicit in human rights abuses and international law violations.

Kirby told reporters that the United States has communicated its displeasure directly to Israel.

“I think we’ve made it abundantly clear to our Israeli counterparts through various vehicles our deep disappointment in the statements expressed in that video and our concerns over the accuracy in the statements made,” Kirby said. “The idea that we had somehow stopped helping Israel with their self-defense needs is absolutely not accurate.”

Netanyahu seemed to dig in his heels even more on Thursday, saying in a statement that he is “prepared to suffer personal attacks provided that Israel receives the ammunition from the U.S. that it needs in the war for its existence.”

The spat comes as White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken planned meetings with Netanyahu’s two top aides to discuss the ongoing war in Gaza.

Overnight and into Thursday, Israeli forces attacked areas in central and northern Gaza, killing at least 14 people and wounding dozens of others, medics said.

Also on Thursday, humanitarian aid again started to flow over the U.S. military’s floating pier off the coast of Gaza and into the Palestinian territory, the Pentagon said. The pier was re-attached to the shore on Wednesday after poor sea conditions forced it to be temporarily removed last week.

“I can confirm that U.S. Central Command personnel reanchored and reestablished the temporary pier to the Gaza beach yesterday,” Pentagon spokesperson Major General Pat Ryder told journalists. Israeli forces helped in order to prevent American troops from being on the ground.

The total amount of aid brought into Gaza using the pier has now surpassed 4,100 metric tons, or 9 million pounds, the spokesperson said.

Biden announced in March the plan to build the pier for aid deliveries into Gaza. Israel had blocked or greatly reduced aid through land routes, which has exacerbated the risk of famine in the enclave.

The war was sparked when Hamas launched an attack in southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 250 others hostage, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s military response in Gaza has destroyed much of the territory, killed more than 37,400 people and injured more than 85,600 others, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

VOA News