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Biden advancing 1 bln USD arms transfer to Israel: media reports

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-15 13:42

WASHINGTON -- US President Joe Biden is pushing through arms transfer to Israel worth more than 1 billion US dollars in the Congress, multiple US media reported.

The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal before being followed up by The Washington Post and the Associated Press.

The outlets cited anonymous US officials and congressional aides as saying that the weapons package being sent to Israel includes 700 million dollars in tank ammunition, 500 million dollars in tactical vehicles and 60 million dollars in mortar rounds.

The potential transfer, now going through the so-called "tiered review" process in relevant committees of the House and the Senate, would be the first delivery of weaponry to Israel since the Biden administration recently put one shipment of bombs on hold, for fear that they would be dropped during an anticipated major ground operation by the Israeli military in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Biden said during an interview with CNN last week that he will not supply weapons to Israel for use in a Rafah invasion. His remarks and decision to delay the bomb shipments drew immediate condemnation from House Republicans, who planned to advance a bill this week that would mandate the delivery of offensive weapons to Israel.

The White House said in a statement Tuesday that Biden would veto the Republican-crafted legislation -- namely the Israel Security Assistance Support Act -- if it were to land on his desk.

"The bill would undermine the President's ability to execute an effective foreign policy," the statement said, calling the bill "a misguided reaction to a deliberate distortion of the Administration's approach to Israel."

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