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Biden moves forward on $1 billion in new arms for Israel: WSJ

Jordan Daily – US President Joe Biden moves forward with $1 billion in new arms for Israel, The Wall Street Journal reported early Wednesday.

The deal is set to include a potential transfer of $700 million in tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds, the report said, citing officials.

The latest arms package comes days after US paused a shipment of bombs to Israel over a planned Israeli offensive in Gaza’s Rafah.

Biden’s administration has been holding up several shipment of weapons to Israel for at least two weeks, a source familiar with the matter said last week.

Politico, which broke the news, cited a US official as saying Washington wanted to send a political message to Israel.

Washington has said it could not support an Israeli invasion of the Gaza border city of Rafah without an appropriate and credible humanitarian plan.

The delayed shipments include small diameter tail kits for unguided bombs made by Boeing that are designed to make them more accurate, the source had said, adding several direct commercial sales that were in process for Israel were also being help up.

However, billions of dollars’ worth of US weaponry remains in the pipeline for Israel, despite the delay of one shipment of bombs and a review of others by President Joe Biden’s administration, concerned their use in an assault could wreak more devastation on Palestinian civilians.

A senior US official said last week that the administration had reviewed the delivery of weapons that Israel might use for a major invasion of Rafah, a southern Gaza city where over 1 million civilians have sought refuge, and as a result paused a shipment of bombs to Israel.

A wide range of other military equipment was due to go to Israel, including joint direct attack munitions (JDAMS), which convert dumb bombs into precision weapons; and tank rounds, mortars and armored tactical vehicles, Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters last week.

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