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United States pauses shipment to israel

Israeli soldiers walk next to military vehicles near the Israel-Gaza border, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in southern Israel, May 8, 2024. REUTERS/Ammar Awad TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has confirmed reports that the United States paused a weapons shipment to Israel, as President Joe Biden’s administration faces growing pressure to condition aid to the top US ally amid the war in Gaza.

Testifying before a US congressional subcommittee, Austin said that the Biden administration had paused “one shipment of high payload munitions” amid concerns about the Israeli military’s push to invade the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

President Biden himself spoke to the prospect of withholding weapons from Israel in an interview, denouncing the prospect of a major offensive in Rafah.

He clarified that the US would not be “walking away from Israel’s security” but would rather be stepping away from supporting “Israel’s ability to wage war in those areas”. He cited the use of US weapons against civilians as a reason for the pause.

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