Biden Administration Pauses on Israel Weapons Packages a Welcome Step

Statement from Refugees International President Jeremy Konyndyk: 

“Refugees International welcomes the Biden administration’s decision to pause several pending arms transfers to Israel over concerns about Israel’s Rafah offensive. The decision is an important start, but President Biden must be prepared to go further to ensure that Israel’s operations do not deepen the already massive suffering and continued obstruction of the humanitarian response. Israel’s capture of the Rafah border crossing has already resulted in its indefinite closure, restricting any fuel, food, or supplies from entering Rafah. This risks the near-term halt of aid operations, and underscores that a Rafah military offensive would collapse famine relief operations. These actions further violate Israel’s obligations under NSM-20 for ensuring and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid, and likewise violate Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law and U.S. law. These violations must be honestly and faithfully reflected in the Biden administration’s forthcoming NSM-20 report to Congress. 

If Israel’s leadership continues military operations that obstruct humanitarian operators from saving lives in Rafah, President Biden must be ready to up the ante by placing further restrictions on U.S. support to the Netanyahu government.”

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