The Carrot But No Stick In U.S. Policy Towards Israel

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If any observer were to wonder, why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is so certain that Tel Aviv’s pounding of the West Bank will continue, one of the reasons seems to have surfaced.

According to the Washington Post, on May 5th, 5 days before the bombardment of Israel began, and 2 days before the protests in Mount Temple went out of control, US Congress was notified of a $735 million sale of high-precision weapons to Israel.

The approval of the sale by US President Joe Biden became known on May 17.

Clearly, this serves as an impetus for Tel Aviv.

On May 17th, alongside the aerial and ground bombardment, the battle switched to the naval area.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reportedly thwarted an underwater drone attack.

The Israeli military destroyed the autonomous submarine of Hamas before it left the coast and struck the car used by the operators who launched it.

Moreover, Israeli military planes targeted the main operative center of the Internal Security Force of the Hamas movement in the north of the Gaza Strip.

The Al-Quds Brigades also confirmed the death of Husam Abu Harbid, the commander of the Northern Brigade at Saraya al-Quds, who was killed “during the raid”.

Many other targets were also struck.

Israel maintains that these are only military targets, but many civilian casualties keep mounting.

So far, at least 212 Palestinians, including 61 children, have been killed in Gaza since the violence began.

Some 1,500 Palestinians have been wounded.

Israel has reported 10 dead, including two children.

On the morning of May 18th, explosions were heard and balls of fire and plumes of smoke were seen rising from several buildings in Gaza City, alongside the sunrise.

In support of Gaza, 6 rockets were fired from Lebanon towards Israeli territory, the IDF reported.

All 6 launches failed and landed within Lebanese territory.

Still, the Israeli military responded by shelling the purported locations from which the launches occurred.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II spoke to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and said it was Israel’s “recurrent provocative” actions against Palestinians that have led to the ongoing escalation.

It is unlikely that this support will turn into any more tangible assistance for the Palestinians.

A direction where actual support may come from is Syria.

On the day hostilities began in the West Bank, the IDF used a combat helicopter to strike a house in Syria’s al-Quneitra.

One of the soldiers who were wounded in the attack died in the morning of May 17th.

Israel’s regular raids on various targets throughout Syria are likely warranting of a response, which Damascus is yet to carry out.

Casualties are piling up, Israel is continuing its attacks, Hamas and others are responding as best they can.

So far, none of the Palestinians Arabic allies have undertaken any actions other than providing supportive rhetoric.

US President Joe Biden has held three phone calls with Netanyahu saying that he’s supportive of a “ceasefire” but a more than $700 million weapon sale shows that any course of action is permitted.

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