US officials went line-by-line through arms shipments to Israel with defense minister to rebut Netanyahu’s delay claim

American officials went through a line-by-line explanation of hundreds of US weapons shipments to Israel in meetings this week with the country’s defense minister in a bid to rebut claims from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Biden administration was delaying military assistance.

The meetings with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant came amid a growing spat between the Biden administration and Netanyahu, who has claimed that armaments are being delayed to the intense frustration of Washington. It was the latest spat between the two allies, which have diverged over Israel’s war tactics in Gaza.

US officials meeting Gallant this week brought in experts from across the government to engage in “professional to professional” discussions that ticked through in exacting detail the current state of munitions shipments.

“We had a very good opportunity to sit down with experts from across our system and go through every single case,” a senior US administration official said. “This is one of the most complex security partnerships we have, one of the most multifaceted.”

CNN reviewed publicly available flight tracking data which shows that a steady stream of US military and Israeli cargo flights have arrived in Israel since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in October.

A US official confirmed the flights identified by CNN were carrying military aid to Israel from US stockpiles.

“These flights represent the steady flow of DoD assistance and highlight that Israel also employs contracted air to ship security assistance as well,” the official said.

By reviewing flight tracking data from ADS-B Exchange and Flight Radar 24, CNN was able to identify at least 68 different flights between US Air Force bases and Israel, a number which includes both US military flights and Israeli contracted cargo jets.

October and January had the largest number of flights, with 15 and 14, respectively. But every other month has averaged roughly five flights of military shipments to Israel, according to the data.

The data shows that military shipments by air have continued at a steady pace since the initial wave of supplies in the early months of the war, rebutting claims from the Israeli government of a dramatic slowdown in US military supplies to Israel. The list compiled by CNN is not comprehensive; it includes only flights that appeared on flight tracking websites – planes that had their transponders turned on. Military flights, unlike passenger or cargo flights, are more difficult to track because their transponders are frequently turned off.

The US has paused one shipment of weapons to Israel, which includes 500-pound and 2000-pound bombs over concerns to the potential for civilian casualties if such weapons were used in densely populated areas in Gaza.

“We paused that one shipment,” Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said at a press briefing on Monday. “Everything else continues to flow on schedule as normal. It is not diminished.”

According to a source briefed on the transfer of weapons to Israel, the US continued transferring hundreds of munitions each month over the course of the spring and through recent weeks. The exact numbers of transfers and information about specific weapons in each shipment is classified, but hundreds of GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs, artillery ammunition, tank ammunition and other items have continued flowing, the source said.

The senior administration official attributed Netanyahu’s claims – made multiple times over the course of the last week, including in a video in English released on social media – to “misunderstandings” on the Israelis’ part.

“There’s stuff happening literally every day across the US government and across the Israeli system, and we were able to go through everything,” the official said, adding the US was able to clarify the status of certain shipments as they make their way through a complex delivery process.

There was “real progress” in developing an understanding of that process and of prioritizing certain cases, the official said, adding there was an agreement to identify any “inefficiencies” going forward.

“This is a massive, massive undertaking, and nothing has paused other than that one shipment,” the administration official said, referring to heavy payload bombs that Biden paused last month. There are continued discussions on how to resolve that pause.

Instead, the official acknowledged there was a “complicated, bureaucratic” system that meant some shipments took a long time to be fulfilled.

A State Department official stressed that, with the exception of the hold on heavy bombs, “everything else is moving in due course.” They “continue to have constructive discussions with the Israelis” for the release of the heavy bombs, the official said, but they did not have a further update on when that hold might be lifted.

The official said that the US has “surged billions of dollars in security assistance to Israel since the October 7 attacks” and pointed to the administration’s passage of “the largest ever supplemental appropriation for emergency assistance to Israel.” They said they are “committed to ensuring Israel gets every dollar appropriated in the supplemental,” noting the recent approval of an $827 million foreign military financing tranche of weapons and equipment.

Netanyahu publicly claimed the Biden administration was “withholding weapons” in a video posted to X last week, claiming that Secretary of State Antony Blinken “assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks.”

While Biden did halt deliveries of the heavy bombs as Israel was preparing for an operation in the southern city of Rafah, other shipments of armaments continued.

Since Netanyahu first took his complaints public last week, White House officials have brushed off some of his comments as motivated by politics as he works to maintain a fragile grip on power. But they nonetheless caused deep frustration inside the White House.

Officials said they had no idea what he was talking about, and described the remarks as “perplexing,” “vexing” and “incorrect.”

Netanyahu responded, saying he was “willing to absorb personal attacks if that is what it takes for Israel to get the arms and ammunition it needs in its war for survival.”

By the weekend, the White House said it wasn’t interested in getting into a back-and-forth with the prime minister.

“We have made our position clear on this repeatedly and we are not going to keep responding to the prime minister’s political statements. We look forward to constructive consultations with the defense minister in Washington this week,” a White House official said.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

CNN’s Kylie Atwood, Jennifer Hansler and Gianluca Mezzofiore contributed to this report.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at