May 8, 2024


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White House says commitment to Israel ‘ironclad,’ despite report of slow-walking military aid

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday reiterated the U.S.’ ‘ironclad’ support of Israel despite a recent report that the Biden administration had put an ammunition shipment to Israel on hold. 

The Sunday report from Axios cited two Israeli officials that said a U.S.-manufactured ammunition shipment to Israel was stopped last week, leaving officials within the Israeli government scrambling to understand why.  

Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich asked Jean-Pierre how the U.S. could have ‘ironclad commitment on one hand and, then on another hand, slow walk arms sales.’ 

‘The president said that the supplemental was imperative, and now this. How do you square that?’ Heinrich asked. 

Jean-Pierre declined to talk about the specifics, reiterating that the U.S.’ commitment to Israel’s security ‘is indeed ironclad.’ 

‘And we proved that in getting that supplemental done,’ the White House press secretary said, referring to a $95 billion aid package passed in the Senate that week that supplies aid to Ukraine and Israel. 

‘That is going to be incredibly important to Ukraine, to Israel, to make sure humanitarian aid gets into Gaza, gets to Sudan, gets to Haiti, and other places across the globe that need humanitarian aid. All of those things are important,’ Jean-Pierre said. 

On the question of arms sales to Israel, Jean-Pierre said: ‘Not going to speak to that.’ 

Fox News Digital reached out to the State Department and the Department of Defense for further comment. The latter repeated Jean-Pierre’s ‘ironclad’ comments on U.S. support of Israel. 

The exchange came the same day that President Biden denounced antisemitism on college campuses and around the world since the Oct. 7 attack in Israel, in which Hamas terrorist killed nearly 1,200 people and took hundreds more hostage. Israel’s retaliation in the Gaza Strip has led to the deaths of more than 34,700 Palestinians per estimates from the Hamas-run health ministry. 

The president used his Tuesday address to renew his declarations of unwavering support for Israel in its war against Hamas. This even as his relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has grown increasingly strained over Israel’s push to invade the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which would surely worsen the already dire humanitarian crisis for Palestinians.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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