US pauses weapon shipment to Israel over potential Rafah invasion

US pauses weapon shipment to Israel over potential Rafah invasion

Shafaq News/ Last week, the US administration halted a shipment of weapons to Israel, opposing Israeli moves towards invading the southern Gaza city of Rafah, a senior administration official told Reuters.

Biden has been trying to head off a full-scale assault by the Israelis against Rafah, where about 1.5 Palestinians have sought refuge from combat elsewhere in Gaza.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that as Israeli leaders seemed to approach a decision on a Rafah incursion, "we began to carefully review proposed transfers of particular weapons to Israel that might be used in Rafah" beginning in April.

"As a result of that review, we have paused one shipment of weapons last week. It consists of 1,800 2,000-lb bombs and 1,700 500-lb bombs," the official told Reuters.

"We are especially focused on the end-use of the 2,000-lb bombs and the impact they could have in dense urban settings as we have seen in other parts of Gaza. We have not made a final determination on how to proceed with this shipment," the official added.

As reported by four sources, the delayed shipments include Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which convert conventional bombs into precision-guided ones, along with Small Diameter Bombs.

Israeli forces seized control of the main border crossing between Gaza and Egypt in Rafah on Tuesday, cutting off a crucial route for aid into the besieged enclave.

Israel's war against Hamas has killed about 35,000 Palestinians, predominantly civilians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Additionally, this conflict has pushed Gaza's 2.3 million inhabitants to the brink of starvation.

Yesterday, a team of Israeli officials arrived in Cairo to assess whether Hamas can be persuaded to reconsider its latest ceasefire offer.

An Israeli official reiterated that Israel finds the current Hamas proposal unacceptable.

Hamas said on Monday that it had accepted a Gaza ceasefire proposal from Egypt and Qatar.

The Qatari-Egyptian proposal entails an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes, and an exchange of Israeli captives and Palestinian prisoners.

The proposal outlines a three-stage truce, with each phase lasting 42 days.

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