Biden considers halting some US military aid to force Israel to scale back its offensive in Gaza

Protesters denounce the Biden administration's support of Israel, which has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians so far in its war against Hamas in Gaza, on December 8, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Protesters in Los Angeles denounce the Biden administration's support of Israel.David McNew/Getty Images
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  • Biden is considering curtailing some weapons support for Israel, NBC reported.

  • Biden wants to use the weapons as leverage to force Israel to scale back its attack.

  • Israel's Netanyahu has so far refused Biden's requests to dial back the offensive in Gaza.

President Joe Biden's patience with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been running low for months.

Biden has repeatedly asked Netanyahu to show restraint and dial back attacks on Gaza, and to open humanitarian corridors so that aid can reach Palestinians. Biden has also asked Netanyahu to plan for a two-state solution after the conflict. Netanyahu has publicly refused all of these requests.

It's an embarrassing situation for the United States, which has propped up Israel's military with billions in annual funding for decades. The continuing conflict is also politically dangerous for Biden, who has faced criticism from within his own party and younger voters for his refusal to force a cease-fire.

More than 26,000 Palestinians, the majority of them women and children, have so far been killed during Israel's scorched-earth retaliation for Hamas' October 7 attacks. The scale of the destruction has led to worldwide protests and anger toward Israel.

So to finally force Netnayahu's hand, the Biden administration is now quietly considering holding back support, NBC News reported.

Biden has asked the Defense Department to review the weapons Israel has requested and to determine which ones could be used as leverage, four current and former US officials told NBC. Israel has asked for aerial bombs and air defenses, as well as ammunition, NBC reported.

The officials told NBC they would likely continue delivering air defenses for the sake of Israeli citizens, though they may scale back on artillery rounds and joint direct attack munitions, which can make bombs more precise.

Read the original article on Business Insider