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You are here News International US says hold on weapons delivery won’t be a one-off if Israel presses ahead with Rafah city offensive – as it happened

US says hold on weapons delivery won’t be a one-off if Israel presses ahead with Rafah city offensive – as it happened

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Rafah bombing

US officials are making clear today that the hold put on a delivery of US-made bombs last week would not be a one-off if Israel presses ahead with an offensive on Rafah city but would be the start of a major pivot in the US-Israel relationship.

Arms deliveries that have already been approved could be delayed, and shipments waiting for approval could also face obstacles.

The Biden administration refuses to use the phrase “red line”, but it is making clear that the US president was serious when he told Benjamin Netanyahu in a call on 4 April that an attack on Rafah would lead to a major re-evaluation of the relationship.

Although the paused shipment included huge 2000lb bombs, administration officials insist that they were not selected because of legal concerns about their use in a densely populated area (as Israel has done frequently over the course of this war) could constitute a war crime. This was a policy decision, they say, not a legal one.


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