Why the US suspended a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs to Israel

US officials confirmed Wednesday that Washington had suspended a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs to Israel over concerns they would be used in Rafah without a sufficient plan for civilians there. This decision to halt the delivery of what are likely MK-84s – one of the most destructive munitions used by Western armies – comes as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu doubles down on his determination to launch a lethal ground assault in Rafah despite US warnings.

Is this the end of unconditional US support for Israel? With Netanyahu’s government seemingly ignoring Washington’s warnings of the dire humanitarian consequences of a ground incursion for Rafah’s civilian population, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday threatened to stop delivering certain types of munitions to Israel if it pushes into the southern Gaza city, notably the 2,000-pound bombs Israel has been using in its offensive.

“Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers,” Biden acknowledged in a one-on-one interview with CNN.

“I made it clear that if they go into Rafah ... I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities.”

“It's an insufficient first step, but it sends a strong signal to Israel,” Samouiller said.

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