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Sunday, April 21, 2024

US Greenlights Multi-Billion Dollar Transfer of Bombs, F-35s to Israel

Even though the bonhomie between Israel and the US has taken a hit in the past couple of months, Washington has reportedly authorized the transfer of billions of dollars worth of military assistance to Jerusalem.

The US, which has been one of Israel’s closest allies, has irked the Benjamin Netanyahu-led government over its outlook on Jerusalem’s war tactics and more recently by abstaining from last week’s UNSC resolution on the Gaza truce.

The package also comes at a time when Israel faces strong international criticism over its continued bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza and as some members of Joe Biden’s party call for him to cut US military aid.

The new arms package includes 1,800 MK-84 2,000-pound bombs and 500 MK-82 500-pound bombs, along with 25 F-35s that were initially approved as part of a larger package by Congress in 2008.

Meanwhile, Washington gives $3.8bn in annual military assistance to Israel, its longtime ally.

Talking to The Washington Post, a White House official said, “We have continued to support Israel’s right to defend itself. Conditioning aid has not been our policy.”

Biden vows continued support to Israel

US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been engaging in a war of words especially as the latter makes it clear that Israel will expand its military operation into Rafah.

On Friday, Biden acknowledged “the pain being felt” by many Arab Americans over the war in Gaza and over US support for Israel and its military offensive.

Despite this, the president vowed continued support for Israel.

The decision on weapons follows a visit to Washington by the Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant this week when he discussed Israel’s weapons needs with US counterparts.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Gallant, apparently seeking to cool US-Israeli tensions, said he stressed the importance of US ties to his country’s security and of maintaining Israel’s “qualitative military edge” in the region, including its air capabilities.

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(Source: First Post)

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