Arms Race

Biden Administration Sends New $1 Billion Arms Package to Israel, Sparking Controversy

Main image to the post Biden Administration Sends New $1 Billion Arms Package to Israel, Sparking Controversy

The Biden Administration's New Arms Package for Israel

The Biden administration has informed key lawmakers of its decision to send a new arms package to Israel, valued at over $1 billion. This marks the first such shipment since the administration paused another transfer of 3,500 bombs earlier this month. The previous transfer was put on hold due to concerns about the potential use of the bombs in the ongoing offensive in Rafah, Gaza.

The new package includes approximately $700 million for tank ammunition, $500 million for tactical vehicles, and $60 million for mortar rounds. The exact timing of the shipment remains unclear, as does whether it falls under the recently approved foreign aid package, an existing arms sale, or a new sale altogether.

The announcement has sparked criticism from both sides of the political spectrum in the U.S. Some Democrats have urged President Biden to limit offensive weapons transfers to pressure Israel to better protect Palestinian civilians. Meanwhile, many Republicans condemn any reduction in military support for Israel.

House Republicans are pushing forward with a bill mandating the delivery of offensive weaponry to Israel. They have criticized the administration's decision to pause the bomb shipment, viewing it as an abandonment of a close ally. The White House has threatened to veto the bill, citing concerns about its impact on the President's ability to deploy U.S. security assistance in line with foreign policy and national security objectives.

Despite the White House's opposition, some Democrats, including New York Representative Ritchie Torres, have expressed support for the bill. The administration continues to engage with lawmakers and congressional aides regarding the legislation, emphasizing its commitment to utilizing the full amount appropriated by Congress for national security purposes.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09