Middle east

Did America refuse to provide weapons to Israel to prevent the invasion of Rafah?

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirms that delivering some shipments may affect US military readiness, and there are limits to its capabilities

General Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that Israel did not receive all the weapons it requested, partly because some could affect US military readiness and there are limits to its capabilities. This comes amid escalating disputes between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden, especially regarding the attack on Rafah.

Washington provides annual military aid worth $3.8 billion to Israel, its longtime ally. The United States is expediting the delivery of air defenses and ammunition to Israel, but some Democrats and Arab-American groups criticize Biden‘s consistent support for Israel, saying it gives Israel a sense of impunity.

Brown said, “Although we support them with capabilities, they have not received everything they asked for,” believing that this is part of the pressure Washington is exerting to prevent the Israeli army from attacking Rafah, where more than a million people live, most of whom are displaced, in addition to Washington’s refusal to use its veto to prevent the adoption of a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the sector, prompting Netanyahu to prevent a delegation from visiting Washington.

He added in remarks during an event hosted by the Defense Writers Group, “Some of that is because they asked for things we don’t have the ability to provide or don’t want to provide… now.”

A spokesman for Brown later Thursday said his remarks indicated a “common practice before providing military assistance to any of our allies and partners.”

Navy Captain Grelle Dorsey added in a statement, “We are assessing US inventories and any potential impact on our readiness to provide the requested assistance,” adding, “There is no change in US policy. The United States continues to provide security assistance to our ally Israel to defend itself against Hamas.”

Health authorities in Gaza say more than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in the territory due to the devastating Israeli attack. This followed an attack by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in southern Israel, which Israeli statistics say resulted in 1,200 deaths and the holding of 253 hostages.

The Israeli attack has sparked opposition within the Democratic Party to which Biden belongs, prompting thousands to opt for “uncommitted” in the recent primary vote to select the presidential candidate.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met earlier this week with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Washington, and the US Department of Defense (the Pentagon) said they discussed security assistance to Israel. Brown said, “It’s an ongoing dialogue.”

This week, the United States said it had no evidence that Israel had violated international humanitarian law after its ally provided assurances on the terms of use of American weapons.

Last month, the US administration issued guidelines to countries receiving US military assistance to provide “credible and reliable” assurances of their commitment to human rights laws.

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