Report: US witholding ‘sensitive intelligence’ on Hamas from Israel

Biden admin willing to share “valuable” information regarding the whereabouts of Hamas’s leaders to stave off invasion of Rafah.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: America, Hamas
Vehicles and military equipment as part of activity by the Israel Defense Forces in Rafah, in the southernmost Gaza Strip, on May 8, 2024. Credit: IDF.
Vehicles and military equipment as part of activity by the Israel Defense Forces in Rafah, in the southernmost Gaza Strip, on May 8, 2024. Credit: IDF.

The Biden administration will share key intelligence with Israel about the whereabouts of Hamas’s leadership in Gaza if Israel agrees not to go ahead with its military operation in Rafah, according to The Washington Post.

“The Biden administration, working urgently to stave off a full-scale Israeli invasion of Rafah, is offering Israel valuable assistance if it holds back, including sensitive intelligence to help the Israeli military pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders and find the group’s hidden tunnels, according to four people familiar with the US offers,” said the report.

The report comes after the Biden administration last week announced the halt of offensive arms shipments to Israel over the Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza’s southernmost city.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said, “If they [the IDF] go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities—that deal with that problem.”

The US president went on to state that his administration wasn’t walking away from Israel’s security and would “continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks that came out of the Middle East recently,” such as Iran’s April 14 ballistic missile and drone attack.

“But it’s, it’s just wrong. We’re not going to—we’re not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells,” he added.

The announcement caused mass backlash both in Israel and the United States.

“This may give them encouragement, the enemies of the Jewish people and of the State of Israel,” said Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan.

“If Israel is restricted from entering such an important and central area such as Rafah, where thousands of terrorists, hostages and the leaders of Hamas are still present, how exactly is the goal of destroying Hamas supposed to be achieved?” he continued.

Rep. Ritchie Torres tweeted, “As the leader of the free world, America cannot claim that its commitment to Israel is ‘iron-clad’ and then proceed to withhold aid from Israel. The mixed messaging makes a mockery of our credibility as an ally. No one will take our word seriously.”

Biden’s CNN announcement came a few days after Israel was blind-sided by Hamas’s public “acceptance” of a ceasefire deal the Jewish state had not even seen.

According to Axios, Israeli officials were reportedly surprised to see “many new elements” in the deal, that were not contained in the previous proposal to which Israel had agreed and which had been presented to Hamas by the American, Egyptian and Qatari mediators 10 days earlier.

The US and the other mediators had drafted “a new deal” and were not transparent about it, two Israeli officials told Axios. The officials went on to state that they suspect the Biden administration gave Hamas guarantees via the Egyptians and Qataris about ending the war, which the terror group demands but which Jerusalem says is a nonstarter until Hamas is defeated, the hostages are released and Gaza never again poses a threat to Israel.

With reporting by JNS.