War on Gaza: Ceasefire and Cease Shipping Arms

February 19th, 2024 - by Middle East Eye

US To Continue Sending Weapons
To Israel While Calling for a Ceasefire
Middle East Eye

(February 17, 2024) — US President Joe Biden’s administration is preparing to send arms to Israel even as Washington pushes for a ceasefire in Gaza, according to a report on Friday in the Wall Street Journal citing current and former American officials.

The planned weapons delivery includes MK-82 bombs and KMU-572 Joint Direct Attack Munitions that add precision guidance to bombs, as well as FMU-139 bomb fuses.

The value of the arms is estimated to be in the “tens of millions of dollars”, according to the report.

The delivery is still being reviewed internally by Washington, according to a US official, who said that details of the proposal could change before the government notifies congressional committee leaders for approval.

Since the start of the war on 7 October, the United States has provided around 21,000 precision-guided munitions to Israel, half of which have been used.

Experts have said that Israel’s war on Gaza is among the deadliest and most destructive in recent history. Over half of the buildings and civilian infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, rendering Gaza almost uninhabitable.

The Israeli military has dropped US-made weapons on densely populated areas, killing hundreds of people, including 900kg bombs known as “bunker-dusters”, which penetrate deep into structures before exploding.

More than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed and 68,395 have been wounded in Israel’s onslaught.

The WSJ report comes as Israel prepares a ground offensive on Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, where over half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population has sought refuge.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said it is only a matter of time before Israel launches a ground invasion of the city.

Last week, Biden spoke by phone to Netanyahu and warned him that a military operation in Rafah “should not proceed” without a plan to protect civilians there.

The Biden administration has been criticised for continuing to arm Israel despite reports that American-made weapons have killed civilians in Gaza.

At the end of last year, the administration skipped two congressional reviews of arms sales to Israel.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.