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Netanyahu doubles down on criticism of US arms supply

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JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aired new grievances Sunday over the Biden administration‘s supply of munitions for the war in the Gaza Strip as his minister of defence arrived in Washington for meetings with senior US officials.
Some Israeli news outlets had portrayed the visit by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, although preplanned, as a “reconciliation” trip aimed at smoothing recent tensions with the country’s most crucial ally.Netanyahu’s govt and the Biden administration have been increasingly at odds over Israel’s conduct in Gaza, and Netanyahu lashed out at the United States last week for withholding munitions.
But Sunday morning, Netanyahu doubled down. In remarks broadcast in Hebrew before his weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said he appreciated the Biden administration’s support for Israel through eight months of war, “but starting four months ago, there was a dramatic decrease in the supply of armaments.” “For long weeks, we turned to our American friends and requested that the shipments be expedited. We did that time after time,” Netanyahu said.
There was no immediate comment from the Biden administration about the remarks, which could upstage Gallant in Washington. They come just days after Netanyahu released a combative video, in English, excoriating the Biden administration for, as the Israeli leader put it, withholding weapons and ammunition when Israel was “fighting for its life” against Iran and other common enemies.
US officials said at the time that they found the video “perplexing” and did not know what Netanyahu was talking about. While the Israeli prime minister complained of “bottlenecks”, the Biden administration maintained that it had held up only one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs over concerns about their use in densely populated parts of Gaza.
Yuli Edelstein, a Likud lawmaker and chair of the Israeli Parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee, said Saturday that differences of opinion with the US should not be handled “via video clips.” Netanyahu on Sunday defended his actions, saying he went public based on “years of experience and the knowledge that this step was vital to opening the bottleneck.”





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