Middle East

Biden administration to allow paused shipment of 500-pound bombs to be sent to Israel

By Kylie Atwood, Oren Liebermann and Jennifer Hansler, CNN

CNN  — 

The Biden administration is allowing a shipment of 500-pound bombs to be sent to Israel, after it was paused more than two months ago, a US official said.

The initial decision to halt a shipment of both 2,000-pound and 500-pound bombs was due to US concerns about Israel using the heavy munitions – specifically the larger 2,000-pound bombs – in their Rafah operation.

One shipment of the 2,000-pound bombs remains on hold.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report on the 500-pound bomb shipment being green-lighted.

“Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers,” President Joe Biden said during a CNN interview, referring to the 2,000-pound bombs, days after the pause went into effect.

The US was not concerned about the use of the 500-pound bombs in the densely populated area, but shipments include multiple munitions and that was the case in this situation, which resulted in a hold on both types of bombs, the official said.

“Because of how these shipments are put together, other munitions may sometimes be co-mingled. That’s what happened here with the 500-pound bombs since our main concern had been – and remains – the potential use of 2,000-pound bombs in Rafah and elsewhere in Gaza,” the official said.

“Because our concern was not about the 500-pound bombs, those are moving forward as part of the usual process,” the official added.

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