Biden's Govt Working On $1bn Arms Shipment To Israel

The White House has informed Congress it has concluded plans to send more than $1bn (£800m) in weapons to Israel, officials have disclosed.

Africa Today News, New York reports that the package would include tank rounds, mortars and armored tactical vehicles.

However, the plan must still be approved by lawmakers before it will be effected.

Last week President Joe Biden said he would halt weapons shipments to Israel if it launched a major invasion of the Gaza city of Rafah.

On Tuesday, Israeli tanks advanced deeper into residential areas of south-eastern Rafah, Palestinians told Reuters.

Mr Biden said last week that he had delayed the shipment of 2,000lb (900kg) bombs to Israel because of how they might be used in such a ground operation.

Asked by CNN about the delay, Mr Biden said: “Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs.”

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The package being sent to Congress is the first since Mr Biden’s administration paused arms transfers to Israel last week. It would include $700m in tank ammunition, $500m in tactical vehicles and $60m in mortar rounds, according to the Associated Press news agency.

On Friday, a US state department report found that some American-made weapons provided to Israel may have been used in breach of international law.

While the report was a clear rebuke of some Israeli operations in Gaza, it stopped short of definitively saying that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) campaign had breached international law.

It added that assurances it had received from Israel about adhering to the legal use of US weapons were “credible and reliable”.

Last month, Congress passed a bill providing $95bn in aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

Weapons transfers to Israel have become a political liability for Mr Biden ahead of this November’s 2024 White House election.

News of the latest arms package emerged soon after voting ended in a presidential primary election in Maryland, where activists had urged voters to register a protest ballot against what they see as Mr Biden’s favouritism towards Israel over the Gaza war.

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