Israel Reports Progress on US Arms Deliveries

The two countries have made progress on the issue of munitions supply, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has said.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday reported making “significant progress” on the issue of US munitions supply to the country during a series of meetings with top officials in Washington this week.

The minister made the remarks after a meeting with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, which concluded his visit to the US. During the talks, “obstacles were removed and bottlenecks were addressed” on several issues, including the supply of munitions to West Jerusalem, Gallant stated.

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

During the meeting with Sullivan, the two “discussed developments in Gaza and the various efforts undertaken to bring the hostages back to Israel,” the minister revealed. The talks also revolved around “Israel’s commitment to ensuring the safe return of Israeli communities to their homes in the north by changing the security reality in the area, and the important cooperation between Israel and the United States vis-à-vis Iranian aggression and its nuclear ambitions,” he added.

Israeli media reports, however, suggested the minister might have overstated the success of the talks. An unnamed US official told Channel 12 that the White House fears the munitions could end up being used for launching a new campaign in Lebanon against the militant group Hezbollah. Therefore, a shipment of heavy aerial bombs that Washington has withheld will not be delivered even after Israel concludes its operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, the source told the broadcaster.

The US put on hold delivery of weapons to Israel in early May amid calls for it to scale back its assault on Rafah. The shipment in question reportedly included 3,500 heavy aerial bombs for fighter jets. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had told him the White House was actually “working day and night to remove these bottlenecks” in arms shipments.

Israel declared war on Hamas after the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack in the south of the country, taking over 200 hostages and leaving more than 1,200 dead. The Gaza campaign has inflicted widespread destruction on the Palestinian enclave, with more than 37,000 Palestinians killed over the months of fighting and heavy artillery and aerial bombing, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.