Biden plans to send $1 billion in new military aid to Israel


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The Biden administration told Congress it plans to send $1 billion in military aid to Israel despite U.S. opposition to the Israeli military’s plans for a full assault on Rafah, the town in southern Gaza.

The White House move comes after the United States suspended a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs to Israel over concerns about their use in densely populated areas of Gaza, potentially further increasing the number deaths among Palestinian civilians.

Although the measure marked the first time Biden withheld arms in an effort to restrict Israel’s military conduct since the war with Hamas began in October, the billion-dollar package in the works shows that Washington does not seek to further restrict its arms deliveries to Israel. .

The Biden administration’s signal that it wanted to proceed with the billion-dollar weapons program came this week, according to a congressional aide. It should mainly include tank ammunition and tactical vehicles.

“We continue to send military assistance and we will ensure that Israel receives the full amount provided in the supplement,” Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters Monday, referring to the bill. $95 billion in foreign security aid to Ukraine and Israel. and the Indo-Pacific signed into law last month.

“Weapons transfers are proceeding as planned,” another US official said on Tuesday.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report the Biden administration’s plans for a new billion-dollar arms transfer to Israel.

Biden decided to freeze the transfer of some of his deadliest bombs in order to deter the Israel Defense Forces from launching a full assault on Rafah, the southern Gaza city where more than a million Palestinians are estimated took refuge. The United States is also seeking to finalize a temporary ceasefire agreement and secure the release of hostages held by Hamas.

The State Department warned last week that U.S.-made weapons may have been used in the conflict in ways that violate humanitarian rights.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted defiantly to Biden’s arms suspension, saying Israel would “stand alone” in the absence of support from the United States, its closest ally.

While some Democrats were relieved to see Biden more aggressively use U.S. influence on Israel, the president also faced backlash from lawmakers in his party who were unhappy with the move, including Jacky Rosen , the senator from Nevada, and John Fetterman, the senator from Pennsylvania. senator.

Rosen said the United States must provide Israel with “unconditional security assistance.”


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