Home World Pentagon says U.S. has not changed posture in aiding Israel in fight against Hamas

Pentagon says U.S. has not changed posture in aiding Israel in fight against Hamas

Pentagon says U.S. has not changed posture in aiding Israel in fight against Hamas

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The U.S.’s top general said Thursday that Washington has not sent all requested military arms to Israel as the brutal fight in Gaza continues, a conflict that has drawn condemnation from both sides of the political aisle.

“Although we’ve been supporting them with capability, they’ve not received everything they’ve asked for,” chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Q. Brown said Thursday, speaking from an event hosted by the Defense Writer’s Group.

“Some of that is because they’ve asked for stuff that we either don’t have the capacity to provide or not willing to provide, not right now,” he added.

Air Force Gen. Gen. Charles Brown, Jr. speaks in Washington, DC

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown, Jr., the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

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Brown did not go into detail regarding which type of military equipment the U.S. has denied Israel, and the Pentagon did not answer Fox News Digital’s questions regarding which arms have been withheld.

Instead, the Pentagon pointed to a statement issued by spokesman for the general, Navy Capt. Jereal Dorsey, who said Brown’s comments “were solely in reference to a standard practice before providing military aid to any of our allies and partners.”

“We assess U.S. stockpiles and any possible impact on our own readiness to determine our ability to provide the requested aid,” he said. “There is no change in U.S. policy. 

“The United States continues to provide security assistance to our ally Israel as they defend themselves from Hamas.”

Israeli artillery

Israeli soldiers fire a mobile howitzer in the north of Israel, near the border with Lebanon, Monday, January 15, 2024.  (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

It is unclear how the U.S.’s support for Ukraine in its war against Russia has affected U.S. weapon stockpiles and whether that has impacted Washington’s ability to aid Israel. Though the U.S. backing of Jerusalem in its fight against Hamas has become a controversial issue, not for financial reasons but because of a growing humanitarian crisis there.  

The U.S. position on Israel has become a hot-button issue at home and abroad as questions circulate over whether U.S. military aid is contributing to higher civilian death tolls in Gaza. 

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Human rights advocates, Democrats and Western allies have pointed to the high death toll in Gaza and what some have argued is a disproportionate response to the October Hamas terrorist attack, which saw the indiscriminate killing of 1,200 Israeli civilians and the abduction of 253 hostages, according to Israeli figures. 

An Israeli tank pictured in southern Israel

An Israeli tank returns from the southern Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, February 26, 2024. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

The Hamas run ministry of Health claims that more than 32,000 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza during Israel’s military offensive, and on Monday the U.N. Security Council voted in favor of passing a resolution that called for an immediate cease-fire – a move that was made possible only after the U.S. abstained from voting. 

The Biden administration has begun shifting its stance when it comes to Israel’s war in Gaza, and on Tuesday U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, that the death toll was “far too high” in the Gaza Strip while humanitarian assistance was “far too low” given the Israeli blocks on aid. 

A smoke rises and ball of fire over a buildings in Gaza City

Smoke rising and a ball of fire over a building in Gaza City on October 9, 2023, during an Israeli air strike. (Photo by Sameh Rahmi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Biden saw the effects of his support for Israel from the campaign trail when thousands of voters cast their ballots on Super Tuesday under the “uncommitted” option in the Democratic primary, as a show of frustration. 

Simultaneously, Republicans on the Hill have moved to exemplify the fissures in the Democratic Party and Biden’s increasing frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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