Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of...

Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in a hospital in Deir al Balah on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Credit: AP/Abdel Kareem Hana

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is claiming the United States is withholding weapons needed for the war in Gaza. In a video released Tuesday, Netanyahu implied the holdup was slowing Israel’s offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

President Joe Biden has delayed delivering certain heavy bombs to Israel since May over concerns about killing civilians in Gaza. However, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that those 2,000-pound bombs are the only weapons under review. He told reporters that “Everything else is moving as it normally would.”

With the Israeli offensive now in its ninth month, international criticism has grown steadily over U.S. support for Israel’s air and ground campaign in Gaza, and the top United Nations court has concluded there is a “plausible risk of genocide” in Gaza — a charge Israel strongly denies. Israel blames civilian deaths on Hamas, saying militants operate among the population.

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 37,100 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count. The war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to Palestinians who are facing widespread hunger.

Israel launched the war after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

Currently:

— Netanyahu dissolved his war Cabinet. How will that affect cease-fire efforts?

Israeli police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators blocking...

Israeli police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators blocking a road during a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, demanding new elections and the release of the hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Jerusalem, Monday, June 17, 2024. Credit: AP/Ohad Zwigenberg

— The war in Gaza has wiped out entire Palestinian families. AP documents 60 who lost dozens or more

— U.S. Vice President Harris meets with an Israeli lawyer who was held hostage and described being sexually assaulted in Gaza

— Iran’s presidential candidates debate economic policies ahead of the June 28 vote

— A pro-Palestinian encampment is cleared from Cal State LA, days after building takeover

People take part in a protest against Israeli Prime Minister...

People take part in a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, demanding new elections and the release of the hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Jerusalem, Monday, June 17, 2024. Credit: AP/Ohad Zwigenberg

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here's the latest:

UN says it’s unable to use new aid route in southern Gaza despite Israeli security assurances

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations hasn’t been able to deliver aid using a new route the Israeli military said it would secure inside southern Gaza, a U.N. spokesperson said, citing fighting and insecurity along the road.

“The lack of any police or rule of law in the area makes it very dangerous to move goods there,” in addition to active combat, U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters Tuesday.

Desperate Palestinians along the route “have to be assured that there’s going to be a regular flow of goods so that there’s not a panic when we get to the area,” he said.

UNRWA, the agency responsible for most of the aid distribution in Gaza, unsuccessfully tried to send a convoy of aid trucks using the route Tuesday but people took goods from most of the trucks along the way, a U.N. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the movement of aid along the new route.

Haq said he had no knowledge of any U.N. aid traveling on the new route since Sunday, when Israel's military announced daytime “tactical pauses” on the roads.

Haq said the United Nations is ready to engage with all parties on improving security conditions to get aid moving. That includes resolving longstanding security issues with Israel such as lengthy delays at checkpoints for aid convoys and workers as well as the need for arrangements with local authorities on the ground to ensure security, he said.

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