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Biden Admin Approves $1 Billion Arms Package to Israel Despite Rafah Concerns

The Biden administration has given the green light to a substantial $1 billion weapon shipment to Israel, despite previous talk of withholding arms if Israel made moves into Rafah. This announcement came just a week after President Joe Biden stated he would halt weapons shipments if Israel conducted an offensive in Rafah.

The Washington Examiner independently verified the administration’s notification to Congress about this action. The package includes offensive weaponry totaling $1.26 billion, consisting of $700 million in tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles, and $60 million in mortar rounds. There are still additional steps to be taken before the weapons are fully approved and delivered. 

 

National security adviser John Kirby previously hinted at this decision when speaking with reporters. He emphasized that President Biden is committed to ensuring Israel has the necessary military capabilities to protect itself from its adversaries but does not want specific categories of American weapons used in certain operations or areas.

Kirby clarified that Israel has not yet crossed Biden’s red line in launching a Rafah operation. Last week, Biden mentioned the possibility of withholding specific 2,000-pound bombs if Israel expanded operations into Rafah, which has become a refuge for Palestinian refugees amidst the conflict.

The announcement of the new weapons shipment is expected to strain the relationship between President Biden and progressive Democratic allies, who had initially expressed support after the announcement of halting offensive weapons. This move drew disapproval from Republicans and pro-Israel Democrats.

Biden faces the challenge of navigating the competing viewpoints of pro-Israel Democrats and pro-Palestinian Democrats during Israel’s actions in Gaza. The potential operations in Rafah have become a contentious issue, with the Biden administration repeatedly cautioning Israel about the consequences of a full-scale assault on the area.

The House Speaker Mike Johnson indicated contentment with Biden’s decision, suggesting that the lower chamber is unlikely to alter their stance on the matter.

Written by Staff Reports

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