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U.S. sends hundreds of bombs to Israel after pausing shipment, officials say

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has agreed to send Israel hundreds of 500-pound bombs from a shipment that the Biden administration withheld because of concerns about Israeli operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, according to three U.S. officials.

President Joe Biden announced in May that he would not supply offensive weapons that Israel could use to launch an all-out assault on Rafah over concern for the well-being of hundreds of thousands civilians sheltering there.

The White House announced at the time that they were holding up a shipment of 1,800 of the larger 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 of the relatively smaller 500-pound bombs because of the president’s concerns.

The officials, who were not authorized to comment on the matter and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Biden administration had been more concerned about the use of the larger bombs and recently agreed to fulfill Israel’s request for the 500-pound bombs in the shipment.

The U.S. is continuing to hold up the 2,000-pound bombs, the officials said. One of the officials said the U.S. remains concerned about how these bombs could be used in Gaza.

One of the officials said the shipment of the 500-pound bombs is still being processed and the bombs have not yet arrived in Israel.

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