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Biden administration to send over $1 billion in arms to Israel amid conflict – Times of India

WorldBiden administration to send over $1 billion in arms to Israel amid conflict - Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Biden administration on Tuesday has informed key lawmakers of its decision to dispatch a fresh package exceeding $1 billion in arms and ammunition to Israel, according to three congressional aides.
This is the first arms shipment announcement to Israel since it halted another transfer of 3,500 bombs earlier this month. The administration clarified that it paused the earlier transfer to prevent Israel from utilizing the bombs during its escalating offensive in the densely populated southern Gaza city of Rafah.
The congressional aides, speaking anonymously, disclosed that the package includes approximately $700 million earmarked for tank ammunition, $500 million for tactical vehicles, and $60 million for mortar rounds.The timing of the arms shipment remains uncertain. Israel is currently seven months into its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.
Initial reports on the plans to move the package were first published by The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, House Republicans had been gearing up this week to advance a bill that mandates the delivery of offensive weaponry to Israel. This move comes in response to President Biden’s recent decision to pause bomb shipments, which prompted swift condemnation from Republicans who argue it signifies abandoning the US’s closest ally in the Middle East.
The White House announced on Tuesday that President Biden would veto the bill if it were to pass Congress. While the bill is unlikely to gain traction in the Democratic-controlled Senate, there’s some division among House Democrats on the issue. Approximately two dozen House Democrats have signed onto a letter addressed to the Biden administration expressing “deep concern” about the message conveyed by pausing the bomb shipment.
Additionally, the White House engaged in discussions with various lawmakers and congressional aides regarding the legislation, according to an administration official.
“We strongly, strongly oppose attempts to constrain the President’s ability to deploy U.S. security assistance consistent with US foreign policy and national security objectives,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this week, adding that the administration plans to spend “every last cent” appropriated by Congress in the national security supplemental package that was signed into law by Biden last month.

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