Biden Administration Approves New Emergency Weapons To Israel

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The Biden administration circumvented Congress for a second time this month to send additional weapons to Israel, the State Department announced on Friday. The sale comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised last week to “deepen” the Israeli military’s operations in the territory; Israeli airstrikes hit two refugee camps in central Gaza on Saturday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed Congress of the $147.5 million sale on Friday, the State Department said in a statement. The transfer includes 155 mm artillery shells, as well as the fuses, chargers, and primers that are necessary to use them.

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self defense capability,” added the State Department. “This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.”

Over 21,500 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military, most of them women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Recent analysis from The New York Times and The Washington Post has revealed the Israeli military campaign to have already been one of the most destructive and deadly of this century.

Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned in October in protest of the Biden administration’s handling of the war, told The Washington Post that the weapons will allow Israel to continue the sorts of military operations that have, he said, “led to so many Palestinian civilian deaths.” “This is shameful, craven, and should frankly turn the stomach of any decent human being,” Paul said.

Friday’s transfer marks the second emergency weapons transfer the U.S. has facilitated this month. On December 9, the State Department approved the sale of about 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition to Israel worth about $106.5 million, also circumventing Congressional approval.

On Saturday, Israeli airstrikes struck two refugee camps in Gaza, The Associated Press reported. Since October 7, Israel’s military operations have displaced over 85% of the 2.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza, and Israeli forces have begun calling refugee camps in central Gaza “a new battle zone.” 

The United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees warned Thursday that the territory is “grappling with catastrophic hunger” as the Israeli military operations moved south to parts of the enclave where hundreds of thousands of civilians who were displaced by earlier rounds of bombardment have taken shelter. Yet despite growing international calls for a humanitarian ceasefire, Herzi Halevi, the head of the Israel Defense Forces, said last week that the war will not end for “many more months.”

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Biden Administration Approves New Emergency Weapons To Israel

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