White House Responds To Netanyahu's Claim Of The U.S. Withholding Weapons From Israel

The White House on Tuesday responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegations that the Biden administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition from his country over the past few months.

“We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “We just don’t.”

In a 49-second video posted on X, formerly Twitter, Netanyahu said he’d recently had a “candid conversation” with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, thanking him for the support the U.S. has given Israel but also airing an apparent grievance.

“It’s inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel,” Netanyahu said he told Blinken. “Israel ― America’s closest ally fighting for its life, fighting against Iran and our other common enemies.”

Netanyahu said Blinken provided him assurances that the Biden administration is committed to removing the “bottlenecks.”

“I certainly hope that’s the case,” Netanyahu said. “It should be the case. During World War II, [U.K. Prime Minister Winston] Churchill told the United States, ‘Give us the tools, we’ll do the job.’ And I say, give us the tools and we’ll finish the job a lot faster.”

During a joint press conference Tuesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Blinken refused to confirm whether Netanyahu was telling the truth about their alleged conversation.

“I’m not going to talk about what we said in diplomatic conversations,” Blinken said.

He did, however, note that President Joe Biden remains committed to providing Israel with “what it needs to defend itself against a whole variety of threats.”

“A big part of that, as well, is making sure that in providing that assistance to Israel, it has a strong deterrent, which is the best way to avoid more conflict, to avoid more war, to avoid what we’re already seeing in Gaza spreading other areas, to other fronts,” Blinken said. “That’s been one of our objectives from day one.”

Blinken said the only shipment that remains under review pertains to 2,000-pound bombs due to the administration’s “concerns about their use in a densely populated area like Rafah” in southern Gaza.

“But everything else is moving as it normally would move,” he said.

Jean-Pierre echoed Blinken, telling reporters that besides that particular shipment of munitions, “there are no other pauses.”

Netanyahu is expected to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress next month. Some lawmakers, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Democratic Reps. Jim Clyburn (S.C.) and Ro Khanna (Calif.), have said they plan to boycott his speech.

The Israeli prime minister, earlier this week, dissolved his war Cabinet following the departure of centrist opposition leader Benny Gantz, who resigned over disagreements with the Gaza war strategy. The move means a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is unlikely to happen, as Netanyahu will now be relying on his security Cabinet, which is made up of more hard-line figures.

Meanwhile, a new report presented to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council concluded that Israeli forces have carried out a campaign of “extermination” against Palestinian civilians that has killed more than 37,000 Gazans, according to local officials.

The ongoing conflict was prompted by the attack of Oct. 7, 2023, when Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis and took about 250 people hostage.