Israel's Netanyahu urges U.S. to lift restrictions on weapons shipments-Xinhua

Israel's Netanyahu urges U.S. to lift restrictions on weapons shipments

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-18 23:32:45

JERUSALEM, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday urged the White House to lift all restrictions on weapons shipments to Israel, imposed by U.S. President Joe Biden's administration over the Israeli ground offensive in Gaza's Rafah.

In a video statement released by his office, Netanyahu said in English that "it's inconceivable that in the past few months, the (Biden) administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel."

Netanyahu said that during U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Israel last week, Blinken "assured" him that the administration is "working day and night to remove these bottlenecks."

"I certainly hope that's the case. It should be the case," Netanyahu added.

In May, before Israeli tanks raided Rafah, Biden stated that the U.S. remained committed to Israel's defense, promising to supply Iron Dome's anti-rocket interceptors and other defensive weapons. However, he warned that if Israel advanced into Rafah, "we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used."

The measure, imposed due to concerns about the humanitarian impact on approximately 1.4 million displaced people sheltering in Rafah, includes halting the delivery of 1,800 bombs weighing 900 kg each and 1,700 bombs weighing 230 kg each.

Israel launched a large-scale offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on Oct. 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 taken hostage.

Since the outbreak of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict in October last year, Israeli forces have killed more than 37,300 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were civilians, according to the enclave's health authorities.