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Biden to give Israel $1 billion in new weapons despite Joe’s warnings deliveries would stop if Rafah attacked

The Biden administration told Congress on Tuesday that it is moving forward with providing Israel with more than $1 billion in new weapons, despite President Joe Biden’s warning that he would hold back more bombs in the event of land invasion of Rafah.

The Wall Street Journal reported the move, citing officials who said the weapons transfer would include $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds.

It comes after Biden blocked a delivery of 2,000-pound bombs to send a message to Israel about attacking densely populated urban areas as more than a million Palestinians sought refuge in the southern Gaza city.

“We continue to send military assistance,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday from the White House podium. “We have suspended the sending of 2,000-pound bombs because we do not believe they should be dropped in densely populated cities.”

It could take years for the new billion-dollar weapons to reach Israel, but by moving forward with the transfer, it signaled that Biden did not want to further damage relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Joe Biden has warned that he will stop all arms deliveries to Israel if the country launches a ground offensive in Rafah, a city where more than a million Palestinians have sought refuge

President Joe Biden has warned that he will stop all arms shipments to Israel if the country launches a ground offensive in Rafah, a city where more than a million Palestinians have sought refuge

Boys watch smoke billowing from Israeli strikes east of Rafah on Monday.  Biden administration moves forward with billion-dollar weapons program for Israel despite president's warnings not to attack dense urban area

Boys watch smoke billowing from Israeli strikes east of Rafah on Monday. Biden administration moves forward with billion-dollar weapons program for Israel despite president’s warnings not to attack dense urban area

Sullivan is expected to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia this weekend, but White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre would not confirm an Axios report that Israel had agreed not to expand his military operation in Rafah before the national security adviser’s trip.

Part of Sullivan’s diplomatic mission will also be to push Saudi Arabia to enter into a “mega-deal” aimed at normalizing relations with Israel.

The White House has warned Netanyahu that a deadly offensive on Rafah could undermine the long-sought deal with the Saudis.

But Israeli tanks continued to move deeper into Rafah on Tuesday.

Biden has paid a political price from the political left for supporting Israel while Palestinian civilians are being massacred.

More than 35,000 Palestinians have died since the start of the conflict, following the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, which left around 1,200 Israelis dead.

This figure comes courtesy of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Health Authority, which does not distinguish between Hamas fighters and Palestinian civilians.

Democratic members of Congress have condemned Israel for pushing the Palestinian population into a humanitarian crisis, while college campuses have been the scene of widespread pro-Palestinian protests, leading to mass arrests.

Meanwhile, Republicans have criticized the Biden administration for blocking the bomb shipment.

On Sunday, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham launched a tirade about the pause after Meet the Press host Kristen Welker pointed out that Republican President Ronald Reagan made a similar decision in 1982, fearing that Israel would use US-made weapons against the Palestinian civilian population. .

Welker told Graham, “Well, historians would say, ‘Why is it OK for Reagan to do it and not President Biden?’ “” – a question that discouraged the Republican senator.

“Well, why is it—well, can I say that?” » Graham said when Welker interrupted him. “Why is it acceptable for America to drop two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end their war against existential threats? Why was it okay for us to do this? I thought it was okay.

“To Israel, do whatever it takes to survive as a Jewish state,” he said.

Welker, once again, pointed out that senior military officials have said technology has changed.

“Yeah, those military officials you’re talking about are full of shit,” Graham said.

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