Report: Biden to Ship $1B Weapons to Israel

Washington, MINA – The Biden administration is reportedly moving forward with a plan to ship $1 billion worth of weapons to Israel amid concerns over the Israeli military’s planned ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Anadolu Agency reports.

The proposed deal includes the potential transfer of $700 million in tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US and congressional officials.

WSJ reported in April that the administration was considering more than $1 billion in new weapons deals for Israel.

The sale requires Congressional approval and delivery could take months or years.

The planned shipment comes after Biden said in an interview last week that he paused shipments of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs to Israel over its offensive on Rafah, where some 1.5 million displaced Palestinians have sheltered from Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip.

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“Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers,” Biden said, referring to 2,000-pound bombs, acknowledging for the first time that US-made weapons killed civilians in Gaza.

His national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, said Tuesday that the US has sent a “massive amount” of military assistance to Israel to defend itself against “all threats.”

“We are continuing to send military assistance, and we will ensure that Israel receives the full amount provided in the supplemental,” Sullivan said.

“We have paused a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs because we do not believe they should be dropped in densely populated cities. We are talking to the Israeli government about this,” he added.

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According to a Feb. 8 National Security Memorandum, NSM-20, signed by Biden, countries that receive US military assistance are required to give Washington assurances that the arms will be used in compliance with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The State Department released a highly anticipated report on Friday saying it is “reasonable to assess” that Israel used US-made weapons in ways that are inconsistent with international humanitarian law. However, the report stopped short of reaching a definitive conclusion, citing a lack of evidence.

The US is under of criticism for providing military aid to Israel amid reports of the Israeli army targeting civilians in Gaza and reports of violations of international law and US law, including the blocking of American aid.

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Human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Oxfam said Israel’s assurances to the US government are not credible, calling on the administration to immediately suspend arms transfers to Israel. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)