An unnamed U.S. official revealed on Tuesday that the U.S. State Department has greenlighted a $1 billion military aid package for Israel, moving it into the congressional review process, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The military package reportedly contains tank ammunition amounting to $700 million, $60 million in mortar rounds and $500 million in tactical vehicles. It now awaits approval from the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations and the House Foreign Affairs committees.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced it would withhold a large military shipment to Israel, officially out of concern that the IDF would use powerful bombs in “dense urban settings.”

In another anonymous statement, a senior U.S. government official explained that a review of the types of weapons that might be used was initiated as soon as an operation in Rafah appeared likely.

“As a result of that review, we have paused one shipment of weapons last week,” a U.S. official said on May 7, referring to a shipment consisting of 1,800 units of 2,000-pound bombs as well as 1,700 units of 500-pound bombs.

While the Biden administration has supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, which triggered the war on Oct. 7, Washington has increasingly expressed concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Israeli political and military leaders have vowed to dismantle Hamas’ remaining forces, which are concentrated in Rafah in southern Gaza, close to the Egyptian border. However, the White House has opposed a major military operation, due to the presence of over one million civilians in the area.

Israel Defense Forces has been instructing civilians in Gaza to evacuate certain parts of Rafah, after the IDF approved a military operation on May 6. The approval came after Hamas rejected the latest hostage deal and fired a barrage of rockets on one of Gaza’s main border crossings, killing four IDF soldiers.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers rebuked the Biden administration for threatening Israel over the Rafah operation.

U.S. Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) blasted President Joe Biden for withholding precision weapons from Israel.

“How in the hell do you criticize Israel for being imprecise in its bombing and then refuse to deliver them what they’re willing to pay for to make the bombs precise?” Sherman said.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman went even further, accusing the administration of favoring Hamas.

“Let’s be brutally clear here. Israel cannot defeat Hamas without entering Rafah, where Hamas maintains four fully functioning battalions,” he said. “Biden is siding with Hamas over Israel. There’s no other way to say it.” 

Following both domestic and international backlash, the Biden administration retracted its initial decision, influenced by the “credible and reliable” assurances from Israel that the IDF would be compliant in the use of U.S. weapons according to international humanitarian law.

Following domestic and international criticism, the Biden administration reversed its decision, stating it had received “credible and reliable” assurances from Israel that the IDF would use U.S. weapons in accordance with international humanitarian law.

While the fighting in the Rafah area has intensified, Israel has so far refrained from launching a major offensive against Hamas forces in the heart of the city.

Read the full article at All Israel News.

tag icon-info envelope-o search map-marker money-heart globe contact-plane flag wallet star icon-directions controller-play calendar location world thumb-up comments verified language handshake-o congregations youth-young-adults social-outreach worship-and-prayer outreach resources members-az israel-outline members biblical-soundness excellence-integrity financial-transparency leadership-accountability spirit-of-unity paint-brush-1 leader