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US will sell ammunition to Israel without Congress' approval – Reuters

Sunday, 10 December 2023, 01:28
US will sell ammunition to Israel without Congress' approval – Reuters

US President Joe Biden's administration has used emergency powers to authorise the sale of approximately 14,000 tank shells to Israel without Congress’ approval.

Source: Reuters with reference to the Pentagon

Details: The US State Department has reportedly used emergency powers under the Arms Export Control Act to urgently deliver tank shells worth US$106.5 million to Israel.


The shells are part of a larger deal worth more than US$500 million, which includes 45,000 shells for Israel's Merkava tanks, which are regularly used in the offensive against Gaza.

As the war has escalated, the question of how and where US weapons are used in the conflict has come under greater scrutiny, although US officials say they have no plans to impose conditions on military aid to Israel or consider withdrawing it.

Human rights activists have expressed concern about the package, saying it is inconsistent with Washington's efforts to pressure Israel to minimise civilian casualties.

A State Department spokesman said on Saturday that Washington has made it clear to the Israeli government that it must comply with international humanitarian law and take all possible measures to avoid harming civilians.

As a Pentagon spokesman said, the proposed sale demonstrates the US commitment to Israel's security and will strengthen Israel's defence capabilities.

At the same time, Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, explained to Congress that the tank shells should be immediately provided to Israel in the interests of US national security.

The transfer will come from the US Army warehouses and will consist of 120-mm M830A1 MPAT tank shells and related equipment.

"Israel will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence," the Pentagon said.

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