Biden Administration Set to Approve Multi-Billion Dollar Sale of Fighter Jets, More Weapons to Israel: Report

By Leira Aquino

Apr 01, 2024 11:58 PM EDT

Fighter Jets-US-Israel
The Biden administration is reportedly mulling over the sale of over $18 billion worth of 50 American-made F-15 fighter jets to Israel.
(Photo : JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration is on the verge of approving a significant arms deal with Israel and, reportedly considering the sale of up to 50 American-made F-15 fighter jets, valued at over $18 billion, according to reports.

The Washington Post reported that the Biden administration already quietly approved the transfer of billions of dollars worth of bombs and fighter jets to Israel. 

However, according to Politico, the sale is still awaiting government approval although the administration has informally notified the relevant congressional committees, indicating readiness to proceed with the sale.

Largest US Foreign Military Sale to Israel Set for Approval

If finalized, this transaction would mark the largest US foreign military sale to Israel since the conflict with Hamas began on October 7.

Alongside the potential F-15 sale, the administration is also preparing to notify Congress of a substantial new sale of precision-guided munitions kits to Israel, as per CNN.

These developments highlight the continued military support the United States gives to Israel, despite ongoing criticisms of Israeli operations in Gaza and concerns about civilian casualties.

The proposed sale of F-15s is likely to face scrutiny in Congress, particularly from Democratic lawmakers who have called for conditions on military aid to Israel. They argue for measures to increase humanitarian assistance and protect civilians in Gaza.

The delivery of F-15 fighter jets to Israel won't happen immediately, as the aircraft would need to be built from scratch, delaying delivery for at least five years, according to CNN.

The proposed package includes not only aircraft but also engines, gun systems, radars, and navigation systems, along with logistical support and maintenance infrastructure.

READ NEXT: Joe Biden Issues Order Imposing Sanctions on Israeli Settlers Who Attack Palestinians in West Bank

Controversy Over Major Arms Sale Amid Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

The decision to proceed with such a significant arms sale during a period of heightened tension in the region has raised questions.

A White House official, according to the Washington Post's report, affirmed the administration's ongoing support for Israel's right to defend itself, asserting that conditioning aid has not been the policy.

However, critics argue that continuing to arm Israel without imposing conditions risks exacerbating the conflict and undermining efforts to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

Since October of last year, health officials in the Gaza Strip have recorded over 30,000 Palestinian fatalities amidst the Israel's conflict with Hamas.

READ MORE: British Weapons Manufacturer BAE Systems Record High Profits Amid War in Ukraine and Gaza

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