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Bibi’s Bombing Backlog

Biden says no bombs for Rafah

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden told media outlets that the US would stop sending heavy bombs to Israel as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved forward with his promise to invade the southern Gazan city of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have taken shelter after Israel designated it as the last safe area in Gaza.Israel already launched an operation to seize the border between Rafah and Egypt and has been heavily bombing Rafah for weeks. Still, Biden insists that Israel has not begun its invasion of the southern refuge, and warned that it would cut off arms sales of some bombs if it did.“I made it clear that if they go into Rafah – they haven’t gone in Rafah yet – if they fo to Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities – that deal with that problem,” Biden said.The paused shipment includes 1,800 MK84 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs. According to investigations, Israel has been dropping these “dumb” bombs in civilian areas since it started its post-October 7 invasion of Gaza. In just the first few weeks, it dropped hundreds of such bombs, including in heavily populated civilian areas and reportedly in areas that Israel ordered Gazans to flee to.None of that was enough to make Biden change his policy of providing virtually unlimited arms to Israel. However, facing ever-increasingly dire poll numbers and a growing protest movement, the Biden administration seemingly set an actual red line for Netanyahu that could change US policy.Analysis’It’s Indescribable’: Humanitarian Crisis in Rafah Rapidly Unfolds as US Pauses Arms Shipment 9 May, 05:05 GMTHowever, Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel will “stand alone” and invade Rafah if the US halts arms sales to his country. One reason he may feel confident in doing so is that despite the unfathomable number of bombs Israel has dropped on Gaza, Netanyahu still has an extensive backlog of US weapons to get through before he needs to worry about any pause in shipments.A US official told US media earlier in the day that Israel already has enough munitions to carry out its campaign in Rafah and none of the paused shipments are a part of the $26 billion in military and other aid package for Israel that Biden signed last month.

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