A load of 500-pound bombs is secured

A U.S. soldier secures a load of 500-pound bombs in this undated photo.

(Photo: U.S. Army)

Despite Gaza War Crimes Accusations, Biden Sends Israel More 500-Pound Bombs

Since October, the U.S. has sent Israel more than 20,000 heavy bombs, which have been used in some of the deadliest massacres in Gaza.

The Biden administration has ended a two-month pause on the shipment of 500-pound bombs to Israel despite the frequent use of U.S.-supplied weapons by Israeli forces to commit alleged war crimes and genocide in Gaza.

Citing an unnamed Biden administration official, The Wall Street Journalreported Wednesday that the bombs "are in the process of being shipped" to Israel and should arrive in the coming weeks.

In May, the Biden administration suspended transfers of 500- and 2,000-pound bombs manufactured by aerospace giant Boeing over fears the devastating munitions would be used in airstrikes on Rafah, the southern Gaza city where more than a million Palestinians had sought refuge.

By that time, Israel had already dropped hundreds of 2,000-pound bombs—which the U.S. military avoids using in civilian areas because they can destroy entire city blocks—on Gaza, including in an October 31 attack on the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp that killed more than 120 civilians.

"This is what U.S. funding and weapons do."

Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Office said Israel's use of 2,000-pound bombs and other U.S.-supplied weapons likely violated international law by deliberately targeting civilians in disproportionate attacks. Israeli military commanders have also been criticized for using artificial intelligence-based target selection to approve bombings they know will cause high civilian casualties.

The Biden official told the Journal that the pause on 2,000-pound bomb shipments will remain in effect.

"Our main concern had been and remains the potential use of 2,000-pound bombs in Rafah and elsewhere in Gaza," they said. "Because our concern was not about the 500-pound bombs, those are moving forward as part of the usual process."

But Israeli forces have killed many civilians with smaller bombs too. The New York Timesreported Wednesday that multiple weapons experts including a a former U.S. Army explosive ordnance disposal technician identified a fragment from a Boeing-made GBU-39 250-pound bomb used in Tuesday's attack on a refugee tent encampment outside the al-Awda school in southern Gaza that killed and wounded scores of civilians, including many women and children.

Palestinian and international agencies say Israel's 278-day Gaza assault and siege have left at least 137,500 Palestinians dead, maimed, or missing. Israel's conduct in the war is the subject of an International Court of Justice genocide case. International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan is also seeking to arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders for crimes including extermination.

Despite overwhelming evidence of Israeli war crimes, the Biden administration remains Israel's most steadfast supporter, providing billions of dollars in military aid, approving more than 100 arms shipments, and offering diplomatic cover in the form of United Nations Security Council vetoes and what critics call genocide denial.

Reutersreported last month that since October the U.S. has sent Israel 14,000 2,000-pound bombs, 6,500 500-pound bombs, 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 1,000 bunker-buster bombs, 2,600 air-dropped small-diameter bombs, and other munitions.

Citing the al-Awda massacre, Jewish Voice for Peace Action said Wednesday that "this is what U.S. funding and weapons do."

"Arms embargo NOW," the group added.

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