Helena Lyng Blak
1 week ago

US Halts Weapons Shipments to Israel; Ceasefire Outlook Turns Positive

In a significant shift, the US suspends military aid to Israel. Ceasefire talks show signs of progress. Here’s what’s happening right now in Gaza.
z1bjkeee / DepositPhotos
z1bjkeee / DepositPhotos

Last week, just before the May 7 launch of Israel's military operation in the Gaza city of Rafah, the United States halted bomb shipments to Israel amid concerns of a looming “full-scale assault” on Rafah, according to AP News

An anonymous government official disclosed that the halted shipment included 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs.

The decision highlights increasing friction between the US and Israel, with Rafah continuing to be a source of tension between the otherwise close allies.

On Monday, May 6, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that it had expanded the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi, Gaza, located north of Rafah, encouraging civilians located in the city’s eastern areas to temporarily evacuate. 

Later that evening, Hamas abruptly announced it had agreed to a ceasefire proposal, but Israel ultimately did not accept it.

In the night between May 6 and Tuesday, May 7, Israel launched its long-awaited military operation in Rafah. By the morning, local time, the IDF had taken control of the city’s key border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Ceasefire discussions resumed on Tuesday in Egypt, with representatives from Egypt, Qatar, and the US serving as mediators.

Following the talks, according to Reuters, the US delegation expressed optimism, believing adjustments to Hamas's latest proposal could lead to an agreement acceptable to both sides. White House spokesperson John Kirby stated that the remaining unresolved issues could “absolutely be closed.”

Reportedly, all five delegations participating in the peace negotiations were positive going into Tuesday’s negotiations.  

The ceasefire talks will resume on Wednesday, May 8.

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