Photo Credit: Sraya Diamant / Flash 90

The Biden Administration has placed a hold on a shipment to Israel containing ammunition for the IDF, according to a report by Axios.

It’s not clear why and Israel’s Public Diplomacy Directorate did not reply when reached out on the matter.


The US was likewise unwilling to comment: National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby bluntly told reporters Monday in a White House briefing he would not confirm the report.

The hold is not connected to a potential Israeli operation in Rafah and doesn’t affect other shipments moving forward, according to a source quoted by CNN.

“There is a temporary hold on one shipment until the US is briefed on the Rafah battle plans,” a source in Washington told on Monday evening.

However, Politico reported three days ago (May 3), “The Israel Defense Forces recently told the US government and aid groups operating on the ground that they had developed a plan to move people out of Rafah, the main humanitarian hub in the enclave, to Al-Mawasi,” noting that the IDF had also provided a map of the area to humanitarian aid workers.

“CENTCOM wants to be ready to provide assistance if things go sideways. The State Department wants to exhaust every possible diplomatic stream to get a hostage deal done. Finally, there is a concern about a viable plan to keep civilians safe,” the source explained.

When asked during a briefing about the hold on the shipment, a spokesperson for the National Security Council dodged the question and instead reviewed all the US has done for Israel’s defense since the invasion and slaughter of 1,200 people, and abducted of 253 others by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

“The United States has surged billions of dollars in security assistance to Israel since the October 7 attacks, passed the largest ever supplemental appropriation for emergency assistance to Israel, led an unprecedented coalition to defend Israel against Iranian attacks, and will continue to do what is necessary to ensure Israel can defend itself from the threats it faces,” the spokesperson said.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke overnight Sunday night with his American counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, to discuss Israel’s impending military operation in Rafah and Sunday’s deadly attack by Hamas on the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

Four IDF soldiers were killed and 10 others were wounded, including several in critical and serious condition, when Hamas fired at least 10 missiles at the crossing, used to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza. The attack was launched by Hamas from a spot next to the Rafah crossing, a civilian area also used for delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Gallant described to Austin the efforts undertaken to achieve the release of hostages, and said that given the refusal by Hamas to compromise at the negotiating table, military action is required — including in the area of Rafah — due to the lack of an alternative.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.