WASHINGTON, DC—Today, after President Biden temporarily paused a shipment of high-payload weapons to Israel and asserted that the U.S. would not send Israel offensive weapons if it launches an invasion of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“President Biden’s words and deeds prove that America’s commitment to Israel is ironclad. There is no question that the United States will continue to support Israel’s efforts to defend itself, including from existential threats posed by Hamas and Iran.

“The President has also been clear with Prime Minister Netanyahu for months that an invasion of Rafah would be unacceptable and that there would be consequences for such military action. I remain critical about much of the way Mr. Netanyahu has conducted the war in Gaza, where millions of Palestinians face famine and bombardment every day. His approach has been reckless and has undermined the efforts to achieve a long-term solution that guarantees the security of both Israelis and Palestinians.

“I support the President’s practical decision to pause the delivery of high payload bombs to Israel, and his clear position on the conditions for U.S. weapons transfers moving forward. The administration is reviewing the situation on the ground in Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire in Israel’s fight against Hamas. 

“I hope Prime Minister Netanyahu will come to understand that it is in Israel’s best strategic and moral interests to safeguard innocent civilians.”