What types of bombs has the United States halted shipments of to Israel? | Latest news on Israel’s war on Gaza

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The United States has decided to stop the shipment of certain heavy bombs to Israel, with President Joe Biden also threatening to halt the supply of offensive weapons and artillery shells if Israel proceeds with its attack on Gaza’s southern city of Rafah. Biden made this warning during an interview with CNN, where he reiterated continued support for Israel’s defense by providing defensive arms like Iron Dome interceptors.

The US has paused the shipment of heavy bombs, including 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs. This includes Boeing’s Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which are guidance kits that convert regular bombs into precision-guided ones. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned during a Senate hearing that the US is reviewing security assistance to Israel in light of the ongoing attacks on Rafah.

Heavy bombs can cause significant damage, with a 500-pound bomb having a destruction radius of 20 meters and a 2,000-pound bomb reaching 35 meters. The use of such bombs in densely populated areas raises concerns about civilian casualties, potentially violating international humanitarian law.

Israel has defended its actions, claiming to target only Hamas and taking precautions to avoid civilian casualties. The country asserts that targeting Rafah is necessary to eliminate Hamas militants. However, the US warning has caused disappointment among Israeli officials, who argue that limiting access to important areas like Rafah hinders their objectives.

The US provides significant military aid to Israel, totaling billions of dollars over the years. In response to the recent events, the US has also sent naval ships and munitions to support Israel during the conflict. This aid is crucial for Israel, especially amid global ammunition shortages.

This is not the first time the US has paused military aid to Israel, as similar actions were taken in the past. In 1982, a ban on cluster weapons sales was imposed following Israel’s use of these weapons in Lebanon.

The situation in Rafah remains dire, with Israel launching a military offensive and controlling the border crossing with Egypt. Thousands of displaced Palestinians have sought shelter in Rafah, facing the brunt of the conflict. Civilian casualties continue to rise, raising concerns about the humanitarian crisis in the region.

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