February 24, 2024 10:14 am

U.S. delays M-16 arms shipment to Israel amid controversy over civilian weapon distribution

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The Biden administration has reportedly postponed the delivery of thousands of M-16 rifles to Israel, a decision influenced by concerns over Israel’s Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir’s approach to distributing these weapons to civilians.

This delay follows Ben Gvir’s high-profile distribution of weapons to civilian security squads in response to the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack, which involved numerous terrorists infiltrating Israel and committing mass violence against unarmed civilians, the Daily Wire reported.

The administration’s decision comes in the wake of Ben Gvir, a right-wing nationalist, gaining significant media attention for his actions. The Times of Israel reported that the Biden administration took issue with Ben Gvir’s publicizing of weapon distributions on social media, perceiving it as an attempt to showcase Israel’s arming of its citizens against Islamic terrorist attacks.

The Biden administration remains firm in its conviction that civilians should not have the right to bear so-called “assault weapons,” even for self-defense.

Further complicating matters, there are concerns that Ben Gvir might extend arms to Israeli citizens in Judea and Samaria, regions currently experiencing a rise in Islamic terror attacks. As a result, the U.S. is now demanding that weapon distributions be managed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) or police and not extend to individuals beyond the Green Line.

With Israel awaiting a larger shipment of 15,000 rifles from the U.S., there is apprehension that this order might also face delays. To date, approximately 7,000 rifles have been distributed since the October 7 attacks.

This development coincides with ongoing threats from Hamas leadership to replicate the October 7 attacks and incite further assaults on Israel, particularly from Judea and Samaria. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported that Hamas-affiliated Telegram channels, especially those linked to the Islamic Bloc student organization, are actively disseminating threats and operational advice for conducting effective attacks against Israeli localities.



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Original Source: U.S. delays M-16 arms shipment to Israel amid controversy over civilian weapon distribution

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