Blinken laments revelation of threat to withhold weapons from Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken lamented the revelation that President Joe Biden had threatened to withhold some arms shipments to Israel amid a wider debate about whether such conditions help Hamas.

“Leaks are an unfortunate part of the business that we’re all engaged in,” Blinken said during a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on Tuesday. “It’s really regrettable, but it happens.”

That lament was how Blinken responded when asked whether the threat to withhold weapons from Israel over a dispute about a potential military operation had “strengthen[ed] Hamas’s hand.”

Blinken seemed to acknowledge that downside but defended the substance of the policy debate behind closed doors.

“We have one weapons system that we have been holding back, pending discussions with Israel, about how and where it would be used because of the concerns that we’ve clearly expressed
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