The Biden administration refused to sell American weapons to Israel unless it provided guarantees the guns would not be given to civilians living in the West Bank, the Washington Free Beacon is exclusively reporting.
The Jewish state urgently requested the United States sell it thousands of M-16 rifles following the Hamas terror group's Oct. 7 slaughter of more than 1,400 unarmed Israeli citizens. But the Biden administration would not approve the sale until Israel guaranteed the critical weapons would not reach civilian outposts in the West Bank, which the Biden administration and its Democratic allies view as occupied territory.
The stipulation was characterized by officials as unusual and indicates the Biden administration is succumbing to pressure from its far-left flank, which is pressing Israel to enact a ceasefire and accusing the Jewish state of carrying out a genocide as it defends itself from Hamas terrorists operating in the Gaza Strip.
The guns are critical to Israel’s defense as it faces down the most significant threat in decades. With the military engaged in an assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, Jewish civilians in dangerous areas like the West Bank are being trained and equipped to defend themselves against potential attacks.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) is said to be one of the lawmakers who pressured the Biden administration to restrict Israel’s access to the weapons.
The Biden administration has become increasingly open about its desire for Israel to halt its war effort so that humanitarian aid can be delivered into the Gaza Strip, a call the Jewish state has rejected, citing Hamas’s reliance on this aid for its terrorist activities. President Joe Biden, after initially offering full throated support for Israel’s defensive operations, accused Israelis living in disputed West Bank areas of conducting unwarranted attacks on Palestinians in remarks late last month, claiming they are "pouring gasoline on the fire."