Netanyahu Claims US Has Held Up Arms Transfers for Months

The Israeli leader claimed Palestinians were getting 1,000 extra calories per day, but aid agencies say Gazans are starving

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the US has been delaying arms shipments to the US for several months. He also claimed Israel was allowing an ample amount of food into Gaza, even as aid groups say hunger is reaching starvation levels in some areas of the Strip.

In a wide-ranging interview with Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman, Netanyahu weighed in on his recent dispute with the White House. On Tuesday, Netanyahu posted a scathing video to his account on X that attacked the Biden administration for withholding weapons shipments to Israel.

The White House has reacted to the statement with a mix of confusion and anger. A Biden deputy, Amos Hochstein, was dispatched to Tel Aviv to express the president’s frustration to Netanyahu, and Washington delayed a single meeting between US and Israeli officials.

While Netanyahu still has not clarified what arms shipments have been suspended by Washington, he continues to assert that the weapons have slowed to a “trickle.” The Israeli leader claimed he tried to handle the issue behind the scenes, but said the lack of weapons flowing to Tel Aviv has become a crisis.

“We began to see that we had some significant problems emerging a few months ago. And in fact, we tried, in many, many quiet conversations between our officials and American officials, and between me and the president to try to iron out this diminution of supply,” he continued. “And we haven’t been able to solve it. Now this is crucial.”

The White House has largely provided an unrestricted supply of weapons to Tel Aviv since October 7. The US has suspended just one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs over concerns about civilian casualties in the city of Rafah. A UN report released on Thursday found that US-made 2,000, 1,000, and 250-pound bombs were used by Israel’s military in strikes that killed hundreds of non-combatants.

Netanyahu also commented on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza, claiming Tel Aviv was allowing an ample amount of food to enter the Strip. “The falsehood is that we have a deliberate starvation policy. What starvation policy?” he said. “We’ve enabled, since the beginning of the war, for 25,000 trucks to enter Gaza. That’s half a million tons of food and medicine. And that’s about 3,200 calories per person, which is about 1,000 calories over the standard requirement.”

The Israeli leader’s calculations are in sharp contrast with aid agencies that agree a minimum of 500 trucks of aid must cross into Gaza per day to prevent a humanitarian crisis. Tel Aviv has allowed fewer than 100 trucks on average to enter the Strip.

Not all aid that enters the territory makes it to the Palestinian people. Israeli forces have attacked multiple aid convoys, warehouses, and other assistance facilities. Additionally, some aid trucks have reached Gaza but cannot bring food and medical supplies to populated areas due to the Israeli operations.

Earlier this month, the UN’s food agency (FAO) reported that one million Palestinians could be starving by mid-July. Almost half of the Gazan population is “expected to face death and starvation by mid-July,” the agency explained. “The ongoing conflict in Palestine is expected to further aggravate already catastrophic levels of acute hunger, with starvation and death already taking place.”

Netnayhu’s statement to Punchbowl that there was a “one-to-one” ratio between combatants and civilians killed in Gaza is also out of line with what other war observers have reported. A UN commission on violence in Gaza found that Israel killed a high number of civilians without substantially making progress towards its goal of eliminating Hamas.

The Israeli leader also remarked on Tel Aviv’s post-war plans. Netanyahu explained Israel will maintain full security control over Gaza, and the Palestinian people will be disarmed. Additionally, he expects Arab states to rebuild Gaza once Israel is done destroying it, adding those countries would have some role in the civil administration of the Strip. Finally, he called for a massive reeducation program for the Palestinians, stressing the need for a “deradicalization process that would begin in the schools and the mosques to teach these people a different future than the one of annihilating Israel and killing every Jew on the planet.”

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.