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US State Dept Will Move $1 Bn Weapons Aid For Israel Despite Rafah Operation, Says Official


The US State Department has pushed forward a $1 billion package of weapons aid for Israel into the congressional review process.

This was confirmed by two US officials on Tuesday.

The weapons package includes tank rounds, mortars, and armored tactical vehicles, one of the officials told Reuters.

President Biden said last week he had delayed a shipment of 2,000-pound (907-kg) bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs to Israel.

Biden has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to invade Rafah without safeguards for civilians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has brushed aside Biden’s concerns. He said that Israel was willing to go it alone if needed.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said that Britain will continue to export weapons to Israel, adding a full-scale Israeli operation in Rafah would not by itself result in a suspension of UK weapons supplies.

“The assessment that we undertake for arms export controls is one of the most rigorous in the world … No single action represents a red line,” Dowden said.

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Israel’s operation in Rafah is gaining steam as forces are pushing both from the north and south. From the north, they are looking to recapture an area from Hamas.

Israel killed a UN worker on Monday, bringing the death toll of international aid workers to 190 in the ongoing operations.

Gazan officials say that over 35,000 people have died so far in Rafah.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday that the US “did not believe what is happening in Gaza is a genocide.”

This comes as the Biden administration is under heavy pressure for its continued support to Israel in the ongoing war against Hamas.