Latest News 10-05-2024 12:30 3 Views

Pentagon undecided on how to proceed with paused bomb shipment to Israel over opposition to Rafah operation

A shipment of two types of precision bombs to Israel remains in limbo after being paused by the U.S. in opposition to Israeli forces’ operation in Rafah.

The shipment contains 1,800 2,000-pound bombs, and 1,700 500-pound bombs the Biden administration has said may be used in Rafah.

Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder confirmed the shipment of bombs was paused, though the future of the shipment remains undetermined.

‘We’ve not made a final determination on how to proceed with this shipment,’ Ryder said.

A U.S. official said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Wednesday that the U.S. position has been that Israel should not launch a major ground operation in Rafah, where over a million people are currently sheltering.

‘We have been engaging in a dialogue with Israel in our Strategic Consultative Group format on how they will meet the humanitarian needs of civilians in Rafah, and how to operate differently against Hamas there than they have elsewhere in Gaza,’ the official continued. ‘Those discussions are ongoing and have not fully addressed our concerns. As Israeli leaders seemed to approach a decision point on such an operation, we began to carefully review proposed transfers of particular weapons to Israel that might be used in Rafah. This began in April.’

Following this review, the U.S. decided last week to pause shipment of the bombs, according to the official, who said the administration is ‘especially focused’ on the end-use of the 2,000-pound bombs and ‘the impact they could have in dense urban settings as we have seen in other parts of Gaza.’

The official also emphasized that these shipments do not have anything to do with the Israel supplemental appropriations passed last month.

The statement from the U.S. official comes after two Israeli officials told Axios that U.S.-manufactured ammunition to Israel was paused last week for the first time since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack against the Jewish state.

On Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces announced that it had gained operational control of the Gazan side of the Rafah Crossing after troops began a ‘precise counterterrorism operation’ in eastern Rafah aimed at killing Hamas terrorists and dismantling ‘Hamas terrorist infrastructure within specific areas of eastern Rafah.’

Fox News Digital’s Landon Mion contributed to this report.

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