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Axios: Israel Blocking Delivery Of US Aid To Gaza


Axios reporting that, "Israeli ultranationalist Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is blocking a U.S.-funded flour shipment to Gaza," because the recipient of the delivery is the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an agency which has been accused by Israel of having ties with Hamas.

  • The report comes amid an deepening rift between Washington and Israel over the delivery of aid to civilians in Gaza and a potential military operation in Rafah where over a million civilians have sought refuge.
  • Axios notes: "U.S. officials said this is a violation of a commitment Benjamin Netanyahu personally made to President Biden several weeks ago and another reason for the the U.S. leader is frustrated with the Israeli prime minister."
  • Several analysts have noted that blocking the aid may also be in contravention with US law. Dylan Williams at the Center for International Policy wrote in the Hilllast month that the Foreign Assistance Act, which governs U.S. foreign aid, prohibits U.S. security assistance “when it is made known to the [p]resident that the government of such country prohibits or otherwise restricts, directly or indirectly, the transport or delivery of United States humanitarian assistance.”
  • This interpretation of the law may compel the Biden administration to take a harder line on Israel. This may include freezing the transfer of non-defensive military aid or pivoting to calling for a ceasefire, rather than a humanitarian pause in the fighting - the current position of the administration.

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