Israel Blocks Flour Bibi Promised Biden Would Enter Gaza, Latest In Growing Rift

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Feb 14, 2024 - 12:20 AM

There are more problems than meets the eye between the Biden White House and the Israeli government, at a moment Biden continues losing his progressive base over what they see as his 'blank check' support to Israel, while civilian bodies pile up in Gaza.

A fresh Tuesday Axios report begins as follows: "Israeli ultranationalist Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is blocking a U.S.-funded flour shipment to Gaza because its recipient is the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), two Israeli and U.S. officials told Axios."

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There are emerging reports of deep "frustration" in the White House in its dealings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He reportedly made a personal commitment to Biden in a phone call to allow in US humanitarian aid to the Strip unhindered, and in particular this flour shipment.

But Israel has accused external aid organizations, especially the UNRWA - which is the prime body distributing aid - of colluding with Hamas terrorists.

Ironically enough, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has already "thanked" the Israeli government for giving the greenlight for the flour shipment, setting up the US for political embarrassment at a sensitive moment Biden is looking to ease the concerns of his domestic voting base over his Israel policy.

According to more from Axios, "Smotrich blocked the transfer of the flour after he was notified that it was destined for UNRWA, the primary aid group in Gaza. He ordered the Israeli customs service not to release the shipment as long as UNRWA is the recipient."

At this point the flour is being held up by Israeli customs, upon direct orders from Smotrich's office. Smotrich explained, "There is a consensus inside the Israeli cabinet of the need to prevent the aid from reaching Hamas and I will use my authority to make sure this is the case."

The Biden administration has actually already backed the Israeli accusations against the UNRWA, having temporarily cut off aid to the UN organization, but this is yet another instance of the White House talking out of both sides of its mouth, evidenced especially in the following Monday exchange in a press briefing...

President Biden has been attempting to simultaneously support America's closest ally in the Middle East against Hamas while condemning the massive civilian casualties (which Palestinian sources say are in the multiple tens of thousands of dead). He's seeking House approval for billions more in defense aid to Israel over the next year.

Last week Biden called Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip "over the top" - but has refused to attach conditions on the weaponry deployed in Gaza. The US has also of late sanctioned select Israeli settlers, a move which Israel has condemned. The US is under pressure internationally, being accused especially by European officials of aiding and abetting war crimes and mass civilian deaths.