Netanyahu claims Blinken made secret arms promise to Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed to have pressured the United States over weapons supplies that Tel Aviv needs in its war with the Palestinian group Hamas.

The US paused delivery of weapons to Israel in early May amid calls for it to scale back its assault on the densely-populated city of Rafah in southern Gaza. The shipment reportedly included 3,500 bombs for fighter jets. Israel’s offensive on Rafah has left thousands of Palestinians dead and injured, according to the local Hamas-run authorities.

In a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, Netanyahu said in English that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has assured him the White House “is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks”, referring to arms supplies.

The statement confirms the latest media reports that during a meeting with Blinken last week in Jerusalem, Netanyahu had demanded the removal of barriers to the flow of munitions.

“When Secretary Blinken was recently here in Israel, we had a candid conversation. I said I deeply appreciated the support the US has given Israel from the beginning of the war,” Netanyahu stated.

“But I also said something else, I said it’s inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel.”

The Israeli leader stressed that an increased flow of US weapons would help bring the end to the struggle with Hamas.

“During World War II, [Winston] Churchill told the United States, ‘Give us the tools, we’ll do the job.’ And I say, give us the tools and we’ll finish the job a lot faster.”

Netanyahu has reportedly told Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and other high-ranking officials to make sure that arms transfers are fully resumed during upcoming meetings with American counterparts in Washington this week.

US President Joe Biden has repeatedly warned Israel he would halt arms shipments over the situation in Rafah, but despite those warnings his administration had reportedly kept weapons and ammunition flowing. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the US proceeded with a transfer of $1 billion worth of ammunition and vehicles for Israel in May, the same month it stopped the delivery of bombs.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that the White House had successfully pressured Democrats in Congress to support a major arms sale to Israel that includes 50 F-15 fighter jets worth more than $18 billion.

Israel declared war on Hamas after fighters killed around 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostage in a surprise attack on October 7. More than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed in the months of fighting that have followed, according to the latest figures from Gaza’s health ministry.

The White House has rejected the Israeli premier’s remarks about the US withholding weapons from Israel, except 2,000-pound bombs.

“We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about. We just don’t,” spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

“There was one particular shipment of munitions that was paused, and you’ve heard us talk about that many times. We continue to have these constructive conversations with Israelis for the release of that particular shipment that I just mentioned. And don’t have any updates on that. There are no other pauses. None. No other pauses or holds in place,” added Jean-Pierre.

› Subscribe


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

More Articles