U.S. still sending weapons to Israel despite bomb shipment pause over Rafah invasion


Photo: Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip. Monday, April 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Mohammad Jahjouh)

As the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted Friday to grant new “rights and privileges” to Palestine, two U.S. officials told NBC News that the Biden administration continued to send military assistance to Israel since halting a shipment of bombs.

The United States was one of the nine countries in the 193-member world body to vote against the Arab and Palestinian-sponsored resolution. There were 25 abstentions.

The shipments that have been sent to Israel in recent days have included both offensive and defensive weaponry, the two U.S. officials familiar with the shipments said, with the offensive weaponry including small arms.

President Joe Biden’s threat to suspend arms shipments over a full-scale invasion of Rafah, where more than 1.7 million people have taken refuge, led Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to defiantly vow his country would “stand alone” if needed

The rupture between the two close allies has fueled domestic criticism of Biden, and comes as talks stalled in a U.S. push for a cease-fire with Hamas. So far U.S. officials have said the Rafah operation is limited in scope, but have not ruled out Israel defying the president and expanding it.

Speaking after Biden’s warning sparked fury and infighting among his senior figures, Netanyahu said Thursday Israel would “fight with our fingernails” in order to pursue its proclaimed goal of eliminating Hamas — with or without the backing of the United States, which until recent months had been in little doubt.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who appeared on Face the Nation on Sunday confirmed that the only weapons that have been paused so far was the shipment of 3500 bombs . Israeli website Times of Israel confirmed that arms worth billions of US dollars are still being shipped to Israel.