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Biden faces bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill over Israel ultimatum

Published : Tuesday, 14 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 79

WASHINGTON, May 13: President Joe Biden is facing backlash from lawmakers in both parties over his ultimatum that a major Israeli offensive in the city of Rafah would result in a shut-off of some US weapons.

Bidens decision to go public with the ultimatum in an interview with CNNs Erin Burnett last week was greeted with pointed criticism across the GOP spectrum on Sunday, and vocal concern among Democrats.

"On the one hand, they e saying too many Palestinian civilians have been killed. With the other hand, they e depriving us of the precision guided weapons that actually cut down on civilian casualties," Republican Sen. JD Vance of Ohio told CNNs Dana Bash on "State of the Union," though Biden specifically mentioned withholding bombs and artillery shells deemed by the administration as indiscriminate and imprecise.

"So if you e worried about Palestinian casualties, the stated policy here actually doesn make a ton of sense," Vance said.
The US is also reviewing the potential sale or transfer of other munitions, including Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits, to Israel. But these transfers are not imminent and would occur in the future, a US official said.

The presidents announcement last week amounted to a turning point in US-Israeli ties since the seven-month conflict between Israel and Hamas began in October.

Still, the presidents aides said the message shouldn have been a surprise to their intended recipients in Israel given repeated warnings to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.    —CNN

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