Lawmakers react to US pausing weapons shipment to Israel

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The Israeli Defense Secretary confirmed the U.S. is withholding a military shipment to Israel.

The move comes as Israel prepares for a military invasion of Rafah, despite U.S. warnings.

“We are currently reviewing some near-term security assistance shipments,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

At a Senate hearing, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed the U.S. put a hold on a bomb shipment last week because of U.S. concerns the bombs could be used in Israel’s invasion of Rafah, a Gazan city holding more than a million Palestinian civilians.

“There have been far too many, far too many casualties…and I think I think we should do everything possible to ensure that we’re protecting civilians and providing for their welfare,” Austin said.

Republicans are slamming the decision.

This is obscene. It is absurd,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says pausing aid only puts a target on Israel’s back.

“If we stop weapons necessary to destroy the enemies of state of Israel at a time of great peril, we will pay a price,” Graham said.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell accused the president of siding with Hamas sympathizers.

“Pressure from his party’s anti-Israel base and the campus communist who decided to wrap themselves in the flags of Hamas,” said McConnell.

Secretary Austin insists U.S. support for Israel remains ironclad.  He told senators the U.S. will continue to ensure Israel can defend itself.

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer who’s been critical of Israel’s leadership during the war says he trusts the White House’s strategy.

“I have faith in what the Biden administration is doing,” Schumer said.

Israel’s government calls the decision disappointing but says its operation in Rafah is critical to defeating Hamas.

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