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The US Government Begins The Process To Approve $1 Billion Arms Deal For Israel

Arms Deal For Israel

The Biden administration is all set to begin the lengthy process of approving $1 billion arms deal for Israel.

The State Department has initiated discussions with the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees regarding a potential sale, following an informal notification on Tuesday. A specific timeline for Congress to receive official notification of the sale has not been established, thus initiating a process for its approval.

The Biden administration has opted to kickstart the process for a new weapons deal while concurrently halting the shipment of 2,000-pound and 500-pound bombs to Israel. The decision to pause these shipments stems from concerns over the use of such weapons in densely populated areas like Rafah.

The proposed $1 billion arms sale could involve the transfer of significant military assets, including $700 million worth of tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles, and $60 million in mortar rounds, as confirmed by a congressional source.

The weapons being discussed are not expected to be immediately delivered to Israel. The sale would first require official notification to Congress and subsequent congressional approval, a process that could be protracted, particularly if met with objections from members of Congress.

While US officials have indicated a review of other weapons shipments to Israel, they have affirmed the commitment to ensuring Israel’s military capacity for self-defense. This suggests that longer-term weapons deals are not currently slated for cessation.

“We are maintaining our military assistance commitments and ensuring that Israel receives the entirety of the supplemental provided. However, we have temporarily halted a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs due to concerns about their use in densely populated urban areas. Conversations with the Israeli government regarding this matter are ongoing,” stated National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday.

The State Department and Pentagon declined to comment on the information notification other than pointing out Sullivan’s remarks.