The US State Department indicated that it informed Congress the day before yesterday, Friday, of the sale of 13,981 120 mm tank rounds and related equipment worth $106.5 million.
These missiles are part of a larger sale, according to what Reuters revealed in a report the day before yesterday, Friday, when it said that the value of the package that the Biden administration is asking Congress to approve exceeds $500 million and includes 45,000 shells for the Israeli Merkava tanks that Israel uses in its aggression against Gaza. Which led to the martyrdom of thousands of civilians.
The State Department noted that it had concluded “that there is an emergency that requires the immediate sale by the Government of Israel” of weapons, thus exempting it from the requirements of regular congressional review.
The ministry stressed that the weapons stipulated in the sale deal will be delivered from the US Army's stockpile, and will be used by Israel “to deter regional threats and strengthen its defenses” and will not “change the basic military balance in the region.”
According to a statement by the US Department of Defense (Pentagon), the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken He insisted on the request and provided Congress with a detailed justification for the need to immediately provide tank shells to Israel in the national security interests of the United States, according to the statement.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the sale will be from the US Army's inventory and consists of M830A1 multi-purpose high-explosive anti-tank cartridges with a tracking device, and related equipment.
He added, “Israel will use this enhanced capability as a deterrent to threats in the region and to strengthen its internal defense,” considering that there will be no negative impact on American defense readiness as a result of the sale.
A US State Department official said on Saturday that the proposed sale reflects the US commitment to Israel's security and will enhance its defense capabilities.
This deal comes at a time when there is an intense political debate about the war on… Gaza stripRepublicans are curbing a request from the Biden administration to approve new military aid to Israel and Ukraine, amid a division among Democrats over the use of American weapons against Palestinian civilians.
On Wednesday, Republican senators blocked the adoption of an emergency aid package worth $106 billion for Ukraine and Israel because it did not include immigration reforms. The package includes military aid to Ukraine worth about $60 billion and about $10 billion for Israel.
Complicity in war crimes against Gaza
In this context, NBC quoted resigned US State Department official Josh Paul as saying that selling weapons to Israel makes Washington complicit in war crimes in the Gaza Strip.
He added that arms sales cast doubt on the credibility of American calls to reduce civilian casualties.
Paul resigned less than two weeks after the start of the war on Gaza in protest against the increase in arms supplies to Israel, after spending more than 11 years in his job in which he coordinated relations with Congress regarding military aid.
Human rights advocates also expressed concern about the sale, saying it was not in line with Washington's efforts to pressure Israel to limit the loss of civilian lives.
Since the seventh of last October, the Israeli army has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip, leaving 17,700 martyrs and 48,780 wounded, most of them children and women, with thousands more missing and believed to have died under the rubble, and massive destruction in infrastructure, and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.