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Tags: lindsey graham | joe biden | israel | military aid

Sen. Graham Slams Biden Admin for Pausing Israeli Aid

By    |   Wednesday, 08 May 2024 04:03 PM EDT

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., slammed the Biden administration Wednesday for pausing Israeli military aid over concerns that the country is planning to launch a full-scale assault in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

"If we stop weapons necessary to destroy the enemies of the state of Israel at a time of great peril, we will pay a price," Graham said during a Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee hearing, according to the Washington Examiner. "This is obscene. It is absurd. Give Israel what they need to fight the war they can't afford to lose. This is Hiroshima and Nagasaki on steroids."

At the hearing, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed that the Biden administration had paused, but not canceled, a shipment of bombs to Israel last week, the outlet reported.

Austin said the United States is "currently reviewing some near-term security assistance shipments in the context of unfolding events in Rafah."

"We have not made any final decisions on this yet," he said. "There are some things that we're taking a closer look at."

According to The Washington Post, the paused Israeli military aid package includes thousands of bombs that could devastate densely-populated areas like Rafah. Over the course of the conflict, now in its seventh month, more than 1 million Palestinians have fled to Rafah from further north in Gaza.

The U.S. does not support an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah due to concerns that the operation could incur high numbers of civilian casualties. In a bid to protect the lives of civilians, the White House has sought to persuade Israel to carry out precise tactical missions. The Israelis have maintained that they must complete their sweep of the Gaza Strip to ensure that Hamas is eradicated.

"We've been very clear … that Israel shouldn't launch a major attack into Rafah without accounting for and protecting the civilians that are in that battlespace," Austin said.

On Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) seized control of Gaza's Rafah border crossing in what the White House has called a limited operation. Biden has repeatedly warned against a full-on Israeli invasion of the city on humanitarian grounds, most recently on Monday during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel has ordered the evacuation of 100,000 Palestinians from Rafah and the IDF has also carried out "targeted strikes" on the eastern part of the city.

The decision to pause the military aid package to Israel is the first time the Biden administration has delayed sending support to the Jewish state since Hamas launched a brutal incursion on Oct. 7, which led to the current conflict.

"That is a strategic mistake for the ages," Graham said Tuesday. "It makes terrorists more likely to keep fighting. It puts Israel at a very big disadvantage."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., slammed the Biden administration Wednesday for pausing Israeli military aid over concerns that the country is planning to launch a full-scale assault in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.
lindsey graham, joe biden, israel, military aid
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2024-03-08
Wednesday, 08 May 2024 04:03 PM
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