US To Send $1Bn Arms Delivery to Israel Despite Rafah Assault

The White House has notified Congress of its intention to allocate over $1 billion in military aid to Israel, according to officials. This military aid package is set to include tank ammunition, mortars, and armored tactical vehicles.

Last week, President Joe Biden stated his readiness to suspend arms shipments to Israel in the event of a significant military operation targeting Rafah in Gaza.

According to reports, Israeli tanks recently moved further into the residential zones of southeastern Rafah, as described by Palestinians.

President Biden mentioned a postponement in the delivery of 2,000-pound bombs to Israel, citing potential misuse in ground operations, in a statement last week.

In a recent interview, President Biden highlighted that the bombings had resulted in civilian casualties in Gaza.

The proposed arms package, which marks the resumption of such transfers since last week’s pause, includes $700 million worth of tank ammunition, $500 million for tactical vehicles, and $60 million in mortars, according to the Associated Press.

A recent report by the US State Department indicated that some American weapons supplied to Israel might have been used in ways that contravene international law.

Although the report criticized certain Israeli military actions in Gaza, it did not conclusively state that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had violated international law.

The report noted that it found the assurances from Israel regarding the lawful use of US weapons to be both credible and reliable.

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

The ongoing weapons transfers to Israel are becoming a contentious issue for President Biden as the 2024 White House election approaches.

Following the closure of polls in a Maryland presidential primary, where activists encouraged protest votes against Biden’s perceived bias in favor of Israel during the Gaza conflict, news of the new weapons package surfaced.

Republican members of Congress have proposed a bill aimed at preventing any future halts in arms deliveries to this key ally.

This week, the House of Representatives is set to vote on a measure mandating the State and Defense Departments to ensure swift delivery of military equipment.

The White House has expressed its intent to veto this measure should it pass the Senate, though this outcome seems unlikely.

In response to a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7, which resulted in approximately 1,200 deaths and 252 hostages, Israel initiated a military campaign aimed at dismantling Hamas.

Since the onset of this campaign, over 35,170 fatalities have been reported in Gaza, including 82 in the last 24 hours alone, according to figures from the health ministry controlled by Hamas.