Despite Biden Administration Pause, Billions of Dollars Worth of US Weaponry Still Due to Go to Israel

By Jace Dela Cruz

May 10, 2024 06:21 AM EDT

Despite the Biden administration's pause on one bomb shipment and review of others due to concerns over potential civilian casualties, Israel is still set to receive US weaponry worth billions of dollars. 

US President Joe Biden (L), sits with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the start of the Israeli war cabinet meeting, in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.
(Photo : MIRIAM ALSTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden Administration Holds Shipments of Bombs, Other Weapons for Israel

According to Reuters, the Biden administration paused the delivery of bombs and other weapons following a review that Israel might use them for a major invasion of Rafah, a southern Gaza city with a large civilian population seeking refuge.

This decision reflects ongoing US efforts to prevent actions that could escalate civilian suffering in Gaza. The delayed bomb shipment is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, which is part of the various military weapons due to go to Israel.

According to Senator Jim Risch, who leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, these military equipment destined for Israel includes joint direct attack munitions (JDAMs) that turn dumb bombs into precision weapons, as well as tank rounds, mortars, and armored tactical vehicles. 

However, Risch noted that the weapons were not being processed as fast as they should have been for approval. The assistance for Israel usually moves through the assessment process within weeks.

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Israel to Still Receive More US Weaponry Worth Billions of Dollars From the Biden Administration

In a CNN interview on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said the US would stop supplying Israel with weapons if it conducts a major invasion of Rafah. Biden's backing of Israel has become a political challenge for the president, especially among younger Democrats during his re-election campaign this year.

This stance has led to a surge of protest votes in primaries and has prompted pro-Palestinian demonstrations at universities across the country. With the withholding of weapons for Israel, some Republicans accused Biden of withdrawing his commitments to the Middle Eastern country.

However, White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby clarified that Israel was still getting the weapons it needed to defend itself as Biden was "going to continue to provide Israel with the capabilities that it needs, all of them," according to Reuters.

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