Furious White House cancels meeting with Israel to protest Netanyahu’s latest accusations

The protest comes after Netanyahu claimed the US has been withholding weapons from Israel

Kelly Rissman
Wednesday 19 June 2024 15:45 BST
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Blinken says aid to Gaza is 'impeded' as UN says it's dropped by two-thirds since Rafah offensive

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The White House canceled a meeting with Israel on Iran after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the US of withholding weapons as the war in Gaza rages on, according to a report.

Netanyahu released a video on Tuesday, claiming he had told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that it was “inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel.”

President Joe Biden’s top advisers were angered by Netanyahu’s public statement — prompting them to make a public statement of their own by canceling the US-Israel meeting, which had been slated for Thursday, Axios reported.

“This decision makes it clear that there are consequences for pulling such stunts,” a US official told the outlet. Another said the meeting was merely postponed, not scrapped altogether.

The Independent has reached out to the White House for comment.

The US canceled a meeting with Israel after the country’s leader slammed the Biden administration, accusing it of withholding weapons. Pictured: Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israel Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month
The US canceled a meeting with Israel after the country’s leader slammed the Biden administration, accusing it of withholding weapons. Pictured: Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israel Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month (EPA)

Meanwhile, a senior Israeli official told Axios: “The Americans are fuming. Bibi’s video made a lot of damage.”

The White House’s decision to call off the meeting sends a strong message to Israel, which since October 7, has steadily received of US military aid worth billions of dollars.

After the video’s release, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rejected Netanyahu’s accusation: “We genuinely do not know what he is talking about.”

She called the Israeli leader’s claim “categorically false,” clarifying that only one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs has been withheld amid Israel’s ground offensive in Rafah to convey the Biden administration’s push for the country to take further steps to mitigate civilian casualties.

At a press conference, Blinken addressed the pause in the one shipment: “We continue to review one shipment that President Biden talked about regarding 2,000-pound bombs because of our concern about their use in densely populated areas like Rafah. That remains under review.

“But everything else is moving as it normally would move to make sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself against a multiplicity of threats,” Blinken said.

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