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Israel's Netanyahu says US arms delay row to be 'resolved in near future'

June 23, 2024 - 19:09 By AFP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a state memorial ceremony for the victims of the 1948 Altalena affair, at Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. (AFP-Yonhap)

JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday a row with the United States over weapons delays relating to the Gaza war would be resolved soon, amid simmering tensions between the allies.

"About four months ago, there was a dramatic drop in the supply of armaments arriving from the US to Israel. We got all sorts of explanations, but... the basic situation didn't change," he told a cabinet meeting.

"In light of what I have heard in the last day, I hope and believe that this issue will be resolved in the near future," he added.

He said top Israeli officials lobbied their US counterparts at "the highest levels... at all levels" for speedier weapons deliveries.

"After months of no change in this situation, I decided to give it a public expression," he said.

Netanyahu irked Washington with a video statement earlier this week accusing it of "withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel."

US officials have said they were not aware of what Netanyahu was referring to.

Netanyahu's latest comments came as Defence Minister Yoav Gallant flew to Washington for talks about the Gaza war.

On Thursday, the prime minister said Israel needed American ammunition to fight a "war for its existence" as it battles Hamas militants in Gaza and trades fire with Lebanese Hezbollah on its northern border.

Washington is Israel's main military backer, but the White House has voiced frustration over the rising civilian death toll in Gaza, where Israel has been fighting Hamas militants for more than eight months. (AFP)