Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : US Insists Arms Are Flowing Despite Netanyahu’s Accusations

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the State Department in Washington, US, June 18, 2024. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the State Department in Washington, US, June 18, 2024. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
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US Insists Arms Are Flowing Despite Netanyahu’s Accusations

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the State Department in Washington, US, June 18, 2024. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the State Department in Washington, US, June 18, 2024. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed the United States is withholding weapons needed for the war in Gaza. In a video released Tuesday, Netanyahu implied the holdup was slowing Israel’s offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

President Joe Biden has delayed delivering certain heavy bombs to Israel since May over concerns about killing civilians in Gaza.

However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that those 2,000-pound bombs are the only weapons under review. He told reporters that “everything else is moving as it normally would.”

With the Israeli offensive now in its ninth month, international criticism has grown steadily over US support for Israel’s air and ground campaign in Gaza, and the top United Nations court has concluded there is a “plausible risk of genocide” in Gaza — a charge Israel strongly denies. Israel blames civilian deaths on Hamas, saying militants operate among the population.

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 37,100 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. The war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to Palestinians who are facing widespread hunger.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that two key Democrats in the US Congress have agreed to support a major arms sale to Israel that includes 50 F-15 fighter jets worth more than $18 billion.

Representative Gregory Meeks and Senator Ben Cardin, it said, have signed off on the deal under heavy pressure from the Biden administration after the two lawmakers had for months held up the sale.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Attacker Stabs and Wounds French Soldier Patrolling Paris Ahead of 2024 Olympics

A person takes a picture with the Olympic Games logo at the Bastille square in Paris, France, 15 July 2024. (EPA)
A person takes a picture with the Olympic Games logo at the Bastille square in Paris, France, 15 July 2024. (EPA)
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Attacker Stabs and Wounds French Soldier Patrolling Paris Ahead of 2024 Olympics

A person takes a picture with the Olympic Games logo at the Bastille square in Paris, France, 15 July 2024. (EPA)
A person takes a picture with the Olympic Games logo at the Bastille square in Paris, France, 15 July 2024. (EPA)

A French soldier was stabbed outside a big train station in Paris on Monday and the attacker was arrested, officials said, while the city is under a high security alert 11 days before the opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympics.

The soldier was hospitalized with a shoulder blade injury, but was not in life-threatening condition, and the motive for the attack was under investigation, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

An investigation was opened into attempted murder, and the suspect's identity was being confirmed, the prosecutor's office said. Authorities did not suspect terrorism as a motive at this stage, according to the national counterterrorism prosecutor's office.

The soldier was among thousands of troops serving in the Sentinelle force for France’s domestic security, created to guard prominent French sites after a string of deadly extremist attacks in 2015. Soldiers in the Sentinelle force have been targeted in the past.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin posted on X that the soldier was patrolling at the Gare de l’Est train station in eastern Paris, and that the assailant was detained.

Paris is deploying around 30,000 police officers each day for the Olympics, which run from July 26 to Aug. 11, with a peak of 45,000 for the opening ceremony on the Seine river.

About 18,000 members of the military are also helping ensure security, including thousands housed in a huge, special camp erected on the edge of Paris.