US keeps pause on Israeli weapon shipment as Gallant reports ‘significant progress’

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Senior US officials told visiting Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday that the United States is maintaining a pause on a shipment of heavy munitions for Israel while the issue is under review, a top US official said.

The official, briefing reporters about White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan’s meeting with Gallant, said the two governments remain in discussions about the single shipment of heavy bombs, which was paused by President Joe Biden in early May over concerns the weapons could cause more Palestinian deaths in Gaza.

earlier on Wednesday, Gallant said he achieved “significant progress” in addressing Israel’s concerns about the flow of US weapons.

“During the meetings we made significant progress, obstacles were removed and bottlenecks were addressed,” he said.

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Gallant said the progress was on “a variety of issues” including “the topic of force build-up and munition supply that we must bring to the state of Israel.”

“I would like to thank the US administration and the American public for their enduring support for the state of Israel,” he said.

He was speaking after meeting Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, closing a trip in which he earlier saw Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days has publicly accused the Biden administration of slowing down weapons deliveries to Israel, which has been at war in Gaza since an October 7 attack by Hamas.

Annoyed US officials have repeatedly denied his claims and said that the United States had only frozen a single shipment, which included heavy 2,000-pound bombs.

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Gallant did not elaborate on the progress and whether the Biden administration agreed to push forward weapons or if it made reassuring explanations.

But on his trip Gallant has repeatedly distanced himself from Netanyahu’s confrontational approach and vowed to work through differences with the United States, Israel’s vital military and diplomatic ally.

With agencies

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