Thursday, May 23, 2024
Middle EastWorld News

US pauses bomb shipment to Israel over Rafah ‘concerns’


Israel-Hamas war

The United States halted a shipment of bombs to Israel last week after it failed to address Washington’s concerns over plans to invade the southern Gaza city of Rafah, a senior US official said Tuesday. Read our liveblog for all the latest developments on Israel’s war on Gaza. 

Smoke billows from Israeli strikes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 7, 2024.
Smoke billows from Israeli strikes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 7, 2024. © AFP

Summary:

  • Egyptian state-linked media said Tuesday, citing a “senior official”, that “all parties had agreed to return to the negotiating table” for talks towards a truce in the Israel-Hamas war.
  • The US paused a shipment of bombs to Israel last week over concerns that Israel was approaching a decision on launching a full-scale assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah against the wishes of the US, a senior administration official said Tuesday.
  • The Israeli army said early Tuesday that its forces had taken control of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing after launching air strikes that killed at least 27 people, according to hospitalsUN officials said the seizure had rendered the second of Gaza’s two main aid delivery routes unusable. “The two main arteries for getting aid into Gaza are currently choked off,” a UN spokesperson said.
  • At least 34,789 Palestinians have been killed and an estimated 78,204 have been wounded in Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory. Some 1,170 people were killed in the Hamas-led October 7 attacks and 250 people were taken hostage, according to Israeli figures, with 132 still missing.
  • The White House called Israel’s closure of border crossings into Gaza “unacceptable”.
  • The head of a leading aid group has accused Israel of breaking “world records” on violations of international law and said Israel’s Western allies are guilty of “hypocrisy on an industrial scale”.
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for crossings into Gaza to be reopened immediately to allow essential aid in, and urged Israel to “stop any escalation” after it sent tanks into Rafah.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said the military’s capture of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing was an “important step” towards dismantling Hamas.
  • Hamas on Monday accepted an Egyptian-Qatari proposal for a ceasefire, with an official telling Al Jazeera the deal involved a three-phase truce: a complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the return of displaced Palestinians and a hostage-prisoner exchange, with the goal of a permanent ceasefire. 

About casualty figures from Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry:

Gaza’s health ministry collects data from the enclave’s hospitals and the Palestinian Red Crescent. For more on the health ministry’s casualty figures, click here.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, Reuters, AP)