Israel Still Blocking US-Funded Flour Shipment Into Gaza

US officials previously said Israel agreed to allow the flour into Gaza, but it's still stuck at an Israeli port

Israel is still blocking a US-funded flour shipment into the Gaza Strip that was announced by the White House 46 days ago, a US official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich initially said he blocked the shipment because it was going through the UN’s Palestinian relief agency, known as UNWRA. About two weeks ago, US officials said Israel agreed to unblock the shipment and send it through the World Food Program, but it still hasn’t entered Gaza, where children are dying of starvation. The flour is stuck at the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the US in January that he would allow the shipment to go through, but he has not been true to his word. The US official did not elaborate on why the flour continues to be blocked.

State Department spokesman Matt Miller referenced the flour when asked about Israeli ministers who are restricting aid into Gaza. “You have seen ministers in the Israeli Government block the release of flour from the port at Ashdod; you have seen ministers of the Israeli Government supporting protests that blocked aid from going into Kerem Shalom,” he said.

Miller insisted the US has said the restrictions on aid are “unacceptable,” but the Biden administration isn’t using any of its significant leverage over Israel since it continues to provide unconditional military aid for the slaughter and starvation of Palestinians.

Instead of using its leverage on Israel, the US began dropping aid from planes over Gaza over the weekend and carried out another airdrop of about 36,000 meals with the Jordanian Air Force on Tuesday. Oxfam said the airdrops “mostly serve to relieve the guilty consciences of senior US officials whose policies are contributing to the ongoing atrocities and risk of famine in Gaza.”

On Tuesday, an elderly Palestinian man died of dehydration and malnutrition in northern Gaza. In recent days, at least 16 Palestinian children have died of starvation, and the UN is warning the number will “increase rapidly” if the situation on the ground doesn’t dramatically change.

Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz was in Washington on Monday and Tuesday on a trip not approved by Netanyahu. According to Axios, US officials expressed criticism and frustration to Gantz over the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The report said the slaughter of over 100 Palestinians waiting for aid by Israeli forces was a “turning point” for the US, and publicly, administration officials have also sharpened their rhetoric. But there’s still no sign the Biden administration is considering a fundamental policy change, and military aid to Israel continues to flow.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.