US discussing release of suspended bomb shipment with Israel, official says

Aftermath of an Israeli strike in Rafah

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is discussing with Israel the release of a shipment of 500-pound bombs that was suspended in May over worries about the military operation in Rafah, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

The matter was discussed this week during a visit to Washington by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the official said.

Axios, citing a U.S. and an Israeli official, earlier said the United States was preparing to deliver the bombs.

Top aides to President Joe Biden told Gallant that Washington was maintaining a pause on a shipment of heavy bombs for Israel while the issue is under review, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.

Biden paused the single shipment in May over concerns they could cause more Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alistair Bell)