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Biden bypasses Congress again to send more arms to Israel

December 30, 2023 at 10:32 am

U.S. President Biden gives a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States on December 8, 2023. [Tayfun Coşkun – Anadolu Agency]

US President Joe Biden bypassed Congress for a second time this month to approve another emergency arms sale for Israel amid its ongoing war in the besieged Gaza Strip, his administration announced Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken notified Congress that an emergency exists, requiring him to circumvent the traditional congressional notification period for foreign military sales in order to approve the immediate sale of an estimated $147.5 million worth of M107 155mm artillery shells and related equipment.

That includes fuzes, primers, and charges. The State Department said the notification, which included Blinken’s “detailed justification” was delivered Friday.

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“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

The artillery shells will be transferred from existing US stocks.

Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza followed Hamas’ shocking Oct. 7 cross-border attack in which an estimated 1,200 people were killed and hundreds more taken back to the coastal enclave as hostages.

Over 21,500 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, and nearly 56,000 others have been injured, according to local health authorities.

Israel’s decision to sharply curtail the flow of humanitarian aid has further compounded a dire humanitarian catastrophe with roughly 2 million people internally displaced, and many reliant on aid deliveries for daily necessities such as food, water and medicine.

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