The Biden administration is considering slowing weapons sales to Israel as a way of pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reduce the scale of the fighting in the Gaza Strip, "NBC" reports according to three current US officials and one former US official. However, a White House spokesperson said, "There is no change in the policy of weapons supply to Israel."
At the direction of the White House, the Pentagon has been reviewing what weaponry Israel has requested that could be used as leverage, the sources told "NBC." They added that no decisions have yet been made. The sources said Israeli officials continue to ask the administration for more weapons, including large aerial bombs, ammunition and air defenses.
The sources told "NBC" that the US is considering slowing or pausing the deliveries in the hope that doing so will prod the Israelis to take action, such as opening humanitarian corridors to provide more aid to Palestinian civilians.
The report continued, "Among the weaponry the US has discussed using as leverage are 155 mm artillery rounds and joint direct attack munitions (JDAMs), which are guidance kits that convert dumb bombs into precision-guided munitions, the officials said. The officials said the administration is likely to continue to provide other conversion kits that make Israeli munitions more precise.
The 155 millimeter artillery rounds are needed by the Ukrainians, although it was because of these shells that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken bypassed Congress for the second time last month in order to sell Israel 60,000 of these shells for $147.5 million. This sale was controversial not only for political reasons but also because Washington is struggling to meet the demand for these shells from Ukraine.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 28, 2024.
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