Public back-and-forth between US, Israel not 'productive': State Department

Public back-and-forth between US, Israel not 'productive': State Department

'I don't think it's productive to engage in an intense public back and forth about this,' says spokesman amid row with Netanyahu

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) - The State Department said Thursday that a public back-and-forth between the US and Israel is not "productive" after the Israeli prime minister responded to the White House's rebuke of his remarks on withholding weapons deliveries

The White House slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, saying his "incorrect" claims that the US is withholding weapons deliveries are "vexing" the administration.

During a press briefing, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the allegations by Netanyahu on Tuesday "were deeply disappointing and certainly vexing to us, given the amount of support that we have and will continue to provide Prime Minister Netanyahu."

Netanyahu's office later posted a quote from the prime minister, which said: "I am willing to absorb personal attacks if that is what it takes for Israel to get the arms and ammunition it needs in its war for survival."

Asked at a press briefing at the State Department, spokesman Matt Miller said he was not sure what Netanyahu was "talking about or what he was trying to accomplish.”

"All I can tell you is what the secretary told the prime minister directly in his meeting in Israel last week, which is that our commitment to Israel's security is sacrosanct. We have proved that, not just with words, but with deeds," he said.

"And I don't think it's productive to engage in an intense public back and forth about this. So we will just let our actions continue to speak for themselves, as they have since Oct. 7," Miller added.

The Israeli prime minister said in a video posted on X that it is "inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition to Israel."

In the wake of the row, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that a bilateral meeting between US and Israeli delegations in Washington was downgraded to include only a meeting of the nations' national security advisors.

The US is continuing to review one shipment of bombs to Israel because of concerns over their possible use in heavily populated areas in the Gaza Strip, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"We, as you know, are continuing to review one shipment that President (Joe) Biden has talked about with regard to 2,000-pound (907-kilogram) bombs because of our concerns about their use in a densely populated area like Rafah. That remains under review," Blinken said Tuesday at a news conference in Washington with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

"Everything else is moving as it normally would...and again, with the perspective of making sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against this multiplicity of challenges," he added.

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