Biden administration said to approve transfer of over 2,000 bombs, 25 F-35s to Israel

A picture taken from Israel's southern city of Sderot shows an IAF F-35 over the northern Gaza Strip, on October 29, 2023. (Jack Guez/AFP)
A picture taken from Israel's southern city of Sderot shows an IAF F-35 over the northern Gaza Strip, on October 29, 2023. (Jack Guez/AFP)

The United States in recent days authorized the transfer of billions of dollars worth of bombs and fighter jets to Israel even as it publicly expresses concerns about an anticipated military offensive in Rafah, The Washington Post reports.

Citing Pentagon and State Department officials, the American daily says the new arms package includes 1,800 MK-84 2,000-pound bombs and 500 MK-82 500-pound bombs, along with 25 F-35s that were initially approved as part of a larger package by Congress in 2008. Israel requested the third squadron of 25 F-35s last July, which when delivered will bring the total size of the fleet to 75.

Washington gives $3.8 billion in annual military assistance to Israel, its longtime ally. The US has been rushing air defenses and munitions to Israel as it fights against Hamas in Gaza, but some Democrats and Arab American groups have criticized the Biden administration’s steadfast support of Israel, and called for leveraging military aid.

“We have continued to support Israel’s right to defend itself,” a White House official tells The Washington Post. “Conditioning aid has not been our policy.”

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