The US hand in the war on Gaza

(File photo: Jordan News)
US President Joe Biden directed the US military to establish a temporary port on the Gaza coast to ease the humanitarian crisis in the territory sparked by the Israel-Hamas war and used his State of the Union speech to call on Israel to let more aid into the territory. He said the pier would enable “a massive increase” in the amount of aid getting into Gaza.اضافة اعلان

The UN has warned earlier that widespread famine in the Gaza Strip is "almost inevitable" without urgent action.

The US-backed  Israeli war on Gaza is entering its sixth month. As the brutal siege and bombing continues, the death toll rises, famine increases, and disease spread rapidly. The ongoing Israeli war on Gaza has once again brought attention to the substantial military support provided by the US to Israel, fueling controversy and raising humanitarian concerns.

Since October 7, Israel has received immense support from the US, ranging from arms and ammunition to consultancy and advice from top-level commanders. The US has sent to Israel thousands of military equipment, including ammunition, vehicles, armaments, personal protective equipment, and medical supplies.

A report by the Wall Street Journal in December highlighted the quality and large quantities of munitions sent by the US to Israel. According to the report, the US is considering sending FMU-139 bomb fuses, with the total shipment estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

The US has provided roughly 21,000 precision-guided munitions to Israel since October, according to media reports. Other types of munitions and weapons also include tens of thousands of 155mm artillery shells, thousands of bunker-buster munitions, and 200 kamikaze drones. On the other hand, the US and Israel have concluded a massive arms deal that includes the supply of F-35 and F-15 fighter jets to Tel Aviv, the Hebrew Channel 12 recently reported.

“The US has provided roughly 21,000 precision-guided munitions to Israel since October.”

The channel cited officials from the Israeli Defense Ministry as saying that an agreement has been reached between the US and Israel in which the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)will be supplied with drones and thousands of rounds of ammunition in the following days.

According to the officials, the deal includes supplying the IOF with many F-35 and F-15 fighter aircraft and Apache helicopters. Israel will be the first country to receive the advanced F-35 aircraft manufactured by Boeing. Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid, primarily focusing on defense and military assistance. Annually, Israel receives over $3 billion in defense aid.

Last February, the US Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill, out of which $14 billion is allocated for Israel.

According to the Times of Israel, around $5.2 billion is spent on systems that deter missiles and other long—and short-range airborne threats. Of this amount, $4 billion would be used to procure short-range anti-missile systems for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and to fund the David’s Sling system, which intercepts mid-to-long-range missiles.

For his part, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has announced that the US is assisting Israel with intelligence and planning and providing advice and consultations to its military. However, the US deployed aircraft and warships at its military bases in the Middle East and ordered more warplanes to support its existing A-10, F-15, and F-16 squadrons at these bases.

As the Israeli war against Gaza is now entering its sixth month, it would be impossible to overstate the horrifying destruction that has been unleashed on the people of Gaza. More than 30,960 people have been killed, and more than 72,524 others injured. However, these statistics are likely a dramatic undercount; thousands of people remain missing, and many of them are lying dead under the rubble of what was once their homes. More than 80 percent of Gaza’s Palestinians are now internally displaced and are being corralled under threat of bombing into an ever-shrinking killing cage.

As they respond to the October 7 attack by Hamas, the IOF has destroyed Gaza’s hospitals and care centers, severely impairing access to health facilities for patients, health workers, and supplies. Israel has Systematically destroyed Gaza’s universities and schools, its archives and libraries. Controlled demolitions of entire neighborhoods, blowing up apartment complexes, destroying farms and other agricultural areas. More than 70 percent of Gaza’s homes have been destroyed or significantly damaged. There are reports of mass executions of prisoners and the widespread torture of other Palestinians. Their homes were demolished and flattened with no shelter and limited supplies, and the displaced Gazans have been living on the streets facing catastrophic hunger and starvation, with no clean water and disease spreading. 

“Last February, the US Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill, out of which $14 billion is allocated for Israel.”

Israel has enforced a wartime blockade on the entry of aid, and aid groups and humanitarian organizations have been complaining of Israel’s blocking of their planned missions to deliver aid to Gaza.  The IOF is showing no signs of slowing their attacks. At every turn, Netanyahu has made clear he intends to continue his campaign indefinitely, even as the IOF faces an impasse in their military battle against Hamas. Israel will push on with its offensive against Hamas, including into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, despite growing international pressure to stop, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, addressing a graduation ceremony at a training school for Israeli army officers recently, adding that Israel would operate throughout Gaza, "including Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold."

"Whoever tells us not to act in Rafah is telling us to lose the war, and that will not happen," Netanyahu said.

Within days of the October 7 attack by Hamas inside Israel, killing around 1,400 people, President Joe Biden traveled to Israel to declare solidarity with the Jewish state. Biden described Hamas as “unadulterated evil” and stated that America “stands with Israel.”

“This is not just Israel’s war; it is a joint US-Israeli war.”

Since the October 7 attack and as Israel has been bombing Gaza relentlessly, the US has been careful not to criticize Israel even in the face of the latter’s disproportionate attack on the tiny enclave of 2.3 million people.

The US also vetoed last February an Arab-backed and widely supported UN resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in the embattled Gaza Strip, saying it would interfere with negotiations on a deal to free hostages abducted in Israel. It was the third US veto of a Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. It came a day after the US circulated a rival resolution that would support a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of all hostages. Besides, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterates that the US opposes a permanent ceasefire.

The US continues to rush weapons and ammunition to Israel to continue this slaughter. At the same time, the Biden administration has led the charge to cut funding to UNRWA, one of the most important international organizations operating on the ground in Gaza.

This is all happening as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that South Africa’s genocide case against Israel could proceed and explicitly ordered Israel to allow, with immediate effect, the delivery of humanitarian aid.

“Today, in the face of the fact that the US remains the greatest bankroller of Israel in general and the biggest sponsor of Israel, specifically in this war of annihilation in Gaza.”

The US is not some outside observer. It is complicit in all of this. It is an active partner in the carnage, the bombings, and the attacks against defenseless civilians, and it is leading the international charge to defund the essential aid organization operating in Gaza.

On the other hand, we are told that Biden is losing patience with Netanyahu for the high toll of deaths in Gaza and for not allowing in humanitarian aid. However, instead of cutting the flow of weapons to Israel and pushing for an immediate ceasefire, Biden is working to reach just a ‘temporary’ ceasefire agreement to release hostages held in Gaza by Hamas before the holy month of Ramadan.

Well, in the real world, Biden almost cannot give a speech anywhere now without it being disrupted by protesters confronting him for his support of the devastating war on Gaza. This is not just Israel’s war; it is a joint US-Israeli war and a part of the same global political culture —to be entirely uncritical of Israel and how Israel is waging what is effectively — and, even by the ICJ, potentially — a genocidal war against the people of Gaza.

Today, in the face of the fact that the US remains the greatest bankroller of Israel in general and the biggest sponsor of Israel, specifically in this war of annihilation in Gaza, people around the world, especially the young generations, are standing together and reigniting the spirit of unity not just about the legacies of colonialism and existing colonialism. Still, it is about creating a new international order where everybody is seen as equal.

Not just to defend Gaza but to protect the idea that every state and every person is equal, that there are no hierarchies of who deserves justice and who does not, and that the only people who should face justice are those who are geopolitically convenient to the US.

It is a turning point for a lot of people, in the sense that the status quo in Gaza, the occupied West Bank, and East Jerusalem is being renounced and that Palestinians must have justice in the end.

Najla M. Shahwan is a Palestinian author, researcher, and freelance journalist. She has published thirteen books and a children's story collection and has received two prizes from the Palestinian Union of Writers.

Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Jordan News' point of view.

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