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Netanyahu reiterates 'dramatic drop' in US weapons to Israel

News Agencies | Updated on: 24 June 2024, 8:50 IST
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File)

Tel Aviv: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated comments that the US is withholding weapons deliveries at Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

About four months ago, "There was a dramatic decrease in the munitions coming to Israel from the US," Netanyahu said in public remarks at the beginning of the meeting.

"For long weeks, we turned to our American friends and requested that the shipments be expedited. We did this time and again. We did so at the highest levels, and at all levels, and I want to emphasize - we did so behind closed doors. We received all sorts of explanations, but one thing we did not receive; the basic situation did not change. Certain items arrived sporadically but the munitions at large remained behind."

Netanyahu has not specified what weapons were being held up by the US.

In May, the Biden administration confirmed delaying a shipment of 500 lb. and 2,000 lb. bombs fearing they would be used in Rafah.

Washington claims all other weapons are being delivered. The comments came after Defense Minister Yoav Gallant departed for Washington on Saturday night for discussions with senior US officials about the situations in Gaza, and Lebanon, and Iranian threats.

Netanyahu is also scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on July 24.

Also at the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu announced the appointments of Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Yiftah Ron-Tal and Vice Adm. (Res.) Eliezer Marom to coordinate the the return of evacuated civilians to their communities in the south and along the Lebanese border respectively.

Around 60,000 Israelis living in northern communities were forced to evacuate in October when the Hezbollah terror organization began daily rocket and drone attacks.

Leaders of the Iran-backed terror group have said they will continue the attacks to prevent Israelis from returning to their homes.

Since October 7, the Hezbollah attacks have killed 10 civilians and 14 soldiers.

Residents of some Gaza border areas have already begun returning to their homes.

At least 1,200 people were killed, and 252 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas's attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the 116 remaining hostages, more than 30 are believed dead.


First published: 24 June 2024, 8:50 IST