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US close to approving $18bn aircraft, ammunition sale to Israel

April 2, 2024 at 11:14 am

An F15 jet of the US Air Force flies during an artillery exercise in Europe, in Grafenwoehr, near Eschenbach, southern Germany, on July 20, 2022 [CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images]

The administration of US President Joe Biden is close to approving the supply of up to 50 American-made F-15 fighter jets and ammunition to Israel, in a deal expected to be worth more than $18 billion.

The deal would mark the largest US foreign military sale to Israel since its violent war on Gaza began in October last year, and “comes as the administration is also expected to notify Congress soon of a large new sale of precision-guided munitions kits to Israel”, according to CNN.

“The new sales of some of the US’ most sophisticated weaponry underscore the extent to which the US continues to support Israel militarily, even as Biden administration officials criticise Israel’s operations in Gaza, which have killed more than 32,000 Palestinians since October, according to the Gaza ministry of health,” reported CNN.

The sale is expected to be hotly debated in Congress, especially by members of the president’s own party. US arms sales to Israel have recently come under intense scrutiny. Democratic lawmakers have called for limiting military aid to Israel until it allows more humanitarian aid into Gaza and does more to protect civilians there, but Biden and his administration have rejected these demands.

READ: Israel’s finance minister vetoes purchase of US fighter jets