Biden’s Defense of Supporting Israel During Gaza War: The Role of Rafah, US Arms, and UNRWA | Latest Updates on Israel’s Conflict in Gaza

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President Joe Biden condemned the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza last week, vowing to halt weapon supplies if the assault continued. However, despite the seizure of the Rafah border crossing and a push into the city by Israeli forces, reports surfaced that Biden plans to advance a $1bn arms transfer to Israel, including tank shells. Advocates believe this apparent contradiction is part of a broader pattern of the US saying one thing but doing another when it comes to Israel.

The White House claimed that Israel’s actions in Rafah were a targeted operation and not a major invasion, despite the displacement of 450,000 Palestinians and strained humanitarian aid flow. While Israeli troops have not entered the urban centre of Rafah, they are pushing deeper into the city, prompting concerns of catastrophic consequences.

The Biden administration stated it is pushing for a ceasefire in Gaza, often blaming Hamas for rejecting proposals. However, the US has vetoed three ceasefire resolutions at the United Nations Security Council and voted against two at the General Assembly. Hamas accepted a Qatar-Egypt deal for a lasting ceasefire, but Israel rejected it.

Regarding international humanitarian law violations, the US claimed it cannot definitively determine if Israel is using American weapons unlawfully. Rights groups have reported violations by the Israeli military involving US weapons, including indiscriminate bombing and targeting civilians.

The Biden administration stated it applies the same standards to Israel under the Leahy Law, but experts note a special process is in place, giving Israel more leeway to address allegations of abuse.

Lastly, the US cut funding to UNRWA claiming compliance with the law, but critics argue this move impacts vital services for Palestinian refugees without credible evidence to support the decision.

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