Biden administration advancing over $1b arms sales to Israel

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Haim Zach GPO
Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Haim Zach GPO

The package comprises tank shells, tactical vehicles, and mortar bombs.

Less than a week after pausing the supply of 2,000-pound bombs and artillery shells to Israel, the administration of US president Joe Biden notified Congress yesterday of its intention of proceeding with a package of arms and ammunition for Israel worth more than $1 billion, "The Wall Street Journal" reports.

According to the report, the new package consists of tank munitions totaling $700 million, tactical vehicles totaling $500 million, and mortar bombs worth $60 million. The approval of the package needs to go through further stages, and supply will be over a period of years.

This new process comes while Biden’s threat not to supply weaponry to Israel that could be used in an assault on population centers in the city of Rafah, on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, still holds. The IDF has already taken control of the border area. At the same time, Biden said that the US would continue to supply defensive weapons to Israel, particularly for its Iron Dome rocket interception system.

Meanwhile, exchanges of fire continue on Israel’s northern border between the IDF and the Hezbollah organization in Lebanon. It may well be that sooner or later the IDF will have to undertake a full-scale ground operation in Lebanon as well, unless a diplomatic solution is found to end the fighting in the north.

The US Congress recently approved a $26 billion aid package, of which $9 billion is earmarked for humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip. $5.2 billion is for Israel’s air defense systems, and $1 billion for artillery shells.

More than once, the Biden administration has bypassed Congress in providing military equipment to Israel during the Swords of Iron war, for example in the sale of 155 mm shells to the tune of $147.5 million. The State Department is however obliged to inform Congress about arms sales to other countries above a certain threshold.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on May 15, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Haim Zach GPO
Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Haim Zach GPO
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