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U.S. Backtracks on Arms Cutoff, Commits $1 Billion to Aid Israel

Daniel Kim Views  

The southern city of the Gaza Strip, Rafah, was devastated by Israeli airstrikes [Photo=Reuters·Yonhap News]

Reports suggest that the Biden administration in the United States is pushing for a weapons deal with Israel worth 1 billion dollars. Last week, the U.S. pressured Israel to halt arms aid during airstrikes on the southernmost city of Gaza Strip, Rafah. However, after just one week, the U.S. has announced plans to resume the aid without any significant gains.

On the 14th, Reuters, CBS News, and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported, citing anonymous U.S. government officials, that the Biden administration has submitted a plan to Congress for $1 billion in arms aid to Israel. The aid plan includes $700 million in ammunition for tanks, $500 million for military vehicles, and $60 million for mortar shells. “The new arms would be enough to replenish Israel’s weapons arsenal, which has been depleted by more than half a year of war in the Gaza Strip,” the WSJ added.

This aid plan was announced just a week after President Biden hinted at the possibility of halting arms supplies. Biden pressured Israel on the 8th, stating clearly that “if Israel goes into Rafah, we will not supply them with weapons.” The U.S. Department of Defense also held back on shipping 3,500 bombs for Israel support, including 1,800 bombs of 2,000 pounds (approximately 900 kg).

However, this week, the U.S. government has reversed its stance back to aid. Jake Sullivan, the U.S. National Security Advisor, mentioned a 14 billion dollar security aid package plan for Israel on the 13th and explained, “We are continuing to send military support.”

Amid these suspicions, Israel’s offensive in Rafah has intensified. According to Reuters, the Israeli military is advancing towards the center of Rafah but is encountering fierce resistance from the armed faction Hamas. The Israeli military reported its first casualties since the start of the ground operation in Rafah on the 14th.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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