Netanyahu vs. the US: 'Inconceivable' that US withholding weapons from Israel

PM issues English-language statement meant to spur the Biden administration to action;  'Give us the tools and we'll finish the job a lot faster'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a video in English Tuesday evening in which he criticized the Biden administration, a day after a report that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged to him that the United States would lift the restrictions on the supply of arms to Israel in the coming days.
“When Secretary Blinken was recently here in Israel, we had a candid conversation. I said I deeply appreciated the support the U.S. has given Israel from the beginning of the war. 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," Netanyahu said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's message to the U.S.

"Secretary Blinken assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks. I certainly hope that's the case. It should be the case," he also said.
Also on Tuesday, at the state memorial ceremony for the victims of the Altalena, Netanyahu claimed that Blinken told him that it was appropriate. "How is it possible that weapons and ammunition that we purchased with our money do not arrive?" Netanyahu added at the ceremony.
"We don't need calls to raise our hands. Only strength, courage, self-belief and unity. With these forces we will topple the rule of Hamas, bring back our hostages alive and dead and return our brothers and sisters who were evacuated to their homes," he said.
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פגישתם של ראש הממשלה נתניהו עם מזכיר המדינה של ארה"ב בלינקן, בלשכת רה"מ בירושלים
פגישתם של ראש הממשלה נתניהו עם מזכיר המדינה של ארה"ב בלינקן, בלשכת רה"מ בירושלים
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jerusalem earlier this month
(Photo: Chuck Kennedy / US State Department / AFP)
The statements of Netanyahu, who is speaking for the first time about the U.S. delaying arms shipments to Israel, appears to be an attempt to spur the administration into action after ongoing delays.
President Joe Biden stated last month that he would not supply bombs and artillery shells to Israel if it decided to launch an operation in Rafah, and in early June, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. has been delaying the transfer of thousands of weapons to Israel, including delaying a shipment worth $260 million dollars of thousands of kits that turn simple bombs into "smart" bombs, as well as tank ammunition, military vehicles and mortars worth about $1billion.
It was later reported that the Biden administration is actually preparing a new supply that includes the potential transfer of tank ammunition worth $700 million, armored tactical vehicles worth $500 million and mortars worth $60 million. US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that: "we continue to send military aid. We delayed a shipment of bombs weighing about 900 kilograms because we do not believe they should be dropped in densely populated areas." On Tuesday it was also reported that, under pressure from President Biden, two Democratic lawmakers agreed to advance a deal to sell 50 F-15 aircraft to Israel.
The issue of delaying the supply of ammunition to Israel is expected to come up Tuesday in the talks between Israel and the White House set to open in Washington. Israel is represented by the Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer and the head of the National Security Council Tzachi Hanegbi, and an Israeli delegation.
In his English-language statement, the prime minister said that "Israel, America's closest ally, fighting for its life, fighting against Iran and our other common enemies."
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בנימין נתניהו
בנימין נתניהו
Prime MInister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the state memorial ceremony for the victims of the Altalena
(Photo: Shaul Golan)
He added that: "During World War II, 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."
Outside the ceremony where Netanyahu gave speeches in Nahalat Yitzhak Cemetery, protesters gathered whose voices were heard during the speech. Netanyahu also referred to them, saying: ""I want to believe that the lessons of the Altalena have been learned and internalized. Division – is weakness. Unity – is strength."
"We are fighting on several fronts; But there is one war that cannot be and must not be – there will be no civil war. There is an extremist, vocal and – I regret – occasionally violent minority, that is organized and financed on an unimaginable scale. But it does not represent the majority of our people. Most of the people are behind our fighters who want, and are striving for, victory over our enemies," Netanyahu said.
Later on Tuesday, Blinken said that Washington was still reviewing one shipment of large bombs for Israel over concerns that they could be used in densely populated areas. Blinken was asked at a news conference about the status of arms shipments after Netanyahu said Blinken assured him last week that the Biden administration was working to remove restrictions on arms shipments.
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