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Israel-Hamas war: Washington 'urgently' approves sale of 14,000 tank shells to Tel Aviv

2023-12-09T21:27:55.697Z

Highlights: U.S. government says it has "urgently" approved the sale of nearly 14,000 tank shells to Israel. Washington is Israel's biggest backer and has provided it with $2016.3 billion a year in military aid. Israel's ammunition reserves are running out. The U.N. Security Council vetoed a U.S.-backed resolution calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza on Friday night.. The State Department notified Congress on Friday, citing an "emergency" authorization, of the sale.


"It is crucial for U.S. national interests to help Israel develop and maintain a strong self-defense capability," he said.


Israel's ammunition reserves are running out. The U.S. government said Saturday it had "urgently" approved the sale to Israel of nearly 14,000 tank shells used in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

The State Department notified Congress on Friday, citing an "emergency" authorization, of the sale to its Israeli ally of 13,981 120mm shells equipping Merkava battle tanks engaged in the offensive in the Palestinian territory, detailed statements from the State Department and the Pentagon issued on Saturday. This military equipment is valued at $106.5 million.

Read alsoFailure of a ceasefire in Gaza: the United States alone against all?

According to Reuters, the Biden administration has asked Congress to approve the sale of a total of 45,000 shells for Israeli tanks.

"The Secretary of State (Antony Blinken) has determined and justified in detail to Congress that there is an urgency to immediately sell this equipment to the Israeli government ... dispensing with the parliamentary scrutiny required by arms export control legislation," the US diplomat said.

A divided Congress

As of Wednesday, Congress — divided with a Republican-majority House of Representatives and Democratic senators in the majority but themselves fractured — had failed to make progress on a massive aid package of more than $106 billion that Democratic President Joe Biden has insistently demanded, including funds for Ukraine and Israel.

"The United States is committed to Israel's security, and it is crucial to U.S. national interests to help Israel develop and maintain a robust self-defense capability," the State Department said.

Read alsoIsrael-Hamas war: how the IDF uses artificial intelligence to pound Gaza

Despite sometimes tense diplomatic relations, Washington is Israel's biggest backer and has provided it with $2016.3 billion a year in military aid every year since 8 under President Barack Obama.

The U.S. on Friday night vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2023-12-09

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