White House Denies Using Weapon Sales to Israel as Leverage Amid Gaza Military Assault

White House Denies Using Weapon Sales to Israel as Leverage Amid Gaza Military Assault

The White House has reiterated that there is no change in its Israel policy, despite reports suggesting that the United States is considering using weapon sales to Israel as leverage to persuade its government to reduce its military assault in Gaza. The White House has stated that Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself against the threat of Hamas, while also emphasizing the commitment to support Israel in its fight against Hamas.

NBC News reported that at the direction of the White House, the Pentagon has been reviewing Israel's requests for weaponry, with the potential to use these deliveries as leverage to encourage Israelis to open humanitarian corridors to aid Palestinian civilians. The specific weapons cited in the report included 155 mm artillery rounds and joint direct attack munitions. However, a White House official has refuted claims that there has been a request to slow down weapons deliveries to Israel, and that no such review of weapons to potentially delay deliveries has occurred.

The heavy death toll caused by Israel's war in Gaza has raised international concerns. President Joe Biden has previously criticized Israeli bombing as indiscriminate, but Washington has not called for a ceasefire, citing concerns that it could benefit the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which governs Gaza. Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7th resulted in a substantial death toll, leading to Israel's subsequent assault on Gaza causing over 26,000 Palestinian casualties. Many civilians are feared to be buried in rubble, raising further humanitarian concerns.

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