U.S. to once more ship 500-pound bombs to Israel, reversing suspension | EUROtoday

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The United States is resuming a cargo of 500-pound bombs to Israel that had been held up since May, when the Biden administration suspended supply of two sorts of giant, airdropped weapons amid considerations concerning the ballooning scale of civilian casualties in Gaza, mentioned U.S. officers acquainted with the matter.

The paused supply included 1,800 2,000-pound bombs, which stay on maintain, U.S. officers mentioned. But the availability of 1,700 500-pound bombs will transfer ahead.

The U.S. choice adopted a stress marketing campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and pro-Israel lobbyists within the United States, together with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, demanding the resumption of all weapons shipments no matter their lethality.

Despite the stress marketing campaign and preliminary maintain, the U.S. officers mentioned the 500-pound bombs had been by no means a severe concern for the Biden administration.

“Because of how these shipments are put together, other munitions may sometimes be co-mingled. That’s what happened here with the 500-lb bombs, since our main concern had been and remains the potential use of 2,000-lb bombs in Rafah and elsewhere in Gaza,” mentioned a U.S. official who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate delicate arms deliveries.

While the tempo of Israel’s navy marketing campaign in Gaza has slowed considerably, Israeli strikes proceed to be related to mass-casualty occasions, together with a strike Tuesday at a faculty sheltering displaced Palestinians close to Khan Younis that killed at the least 25 folks and wounded 50 extra, based on Gaza’s Health Ministry.

Israel mentioned the airstrike focused Hamas fighters.

The choice to partially carry the pause in U.S. shipments was first reported by Israel’s Channel 12.

The United States initially suspended the supply of huge bombs as a “shot across the bow” and a severe indication of U.S. concern about Netanyahu’s deliberate invasion of the southern Gaza metropolis of Rafah, the place greater than 1 million Palestinians had been sheltering.

President Biden had mentioned a serious operation there would cross a “red line,” triggering a suspension of U.S. help. U.S. officers later mentioned Israel’s operations there by no means crossed the road, together with a May 26 incident during which at the least 46 Palestinians had been killed throughout an Israeli bombing of the Tal al-Sultan tent camp.

U.S. officers mentioned the offensive in Rafah was carried out with far more precision than Israel’s different operations in Khan Younis and Gaza City. Last week, the Israel Defense Forces introduced a big group of journalists to tour elements of Rafah for the primary time. Reporters described town as “decimated” and largely empty.

Janet Abou-Elias, a analysis fellow on the Center for International Policy, a Washington-based assume tank, mentioned the harmful energy of 500-pound bombs shouldn’t be taken frivolously. “In Gaza’s densely populated areas, the difference in the destructive impact between a 500-pound and a 2,000-pound bomb is negligible, both causing immense destruction and civilian casualties,” she mentioned.