GOP Senator Pushes Back On Biden’s Block Of Israel Aid

( – The conflict in the Middle East is raging on. Israel recently rejected a ceasefire agreement, citing it didn’t like the terms outlined, which would’ve reportedly called for a full withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from Gaza, where it continues to plan an offensive on Rafah. The West, notably Washington, frustrated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence that the invasion must go on, has cautioned against the action. Now, a Republican lawmaker is questioning the Biden Administration on why a shipment of munitions destined for IDF has been put on hold.

On Monday, May 6, Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) penned a letter to President Joe Biden, demanding to know why a shipment of US ammunition earmarked for Israel was instead put on hold. He cited media reports and said if they were true, “that would mean [the] administration blocked aid without any transparency or communication to Congress.” In addition to wanting an explanation for that, he also asked the president to tell the world “exactly where [he stands] with Israel.”

As part of the correspondence, Marshall asked Biden to answer several questions regarding the matter. First, he wants Biden to justify the reason for holding the munitions from April 25 to May 5. He asked how many additional shipments the administration has blocked since October 7, when Hamas launched its surprise attack on the Jewish state. He also questioned whether the current blocked shipment was rerouted to Ukraine and whether there are future plans to continue blocking aid. Finally, Marshall wants to know if Biden plans to notify the public about the latest happenings. He asked for answers by May 8. It’s not clear whether Biden or his administration have addressed the senator’s concerns.

Officials said that among the munitions the US withheld were 3,500 bombs. They feared the weapons would be used in Israel’s attack on Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians are currently seeking refuge after having been driven out of their homes. That move came after the White House informed Netanyahu in April that continued aid was contingent on it taking “a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps” to mitigate “civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers” affected in Gaza.

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