US President Joe Biden’s administration has approved the emergency sale to Israel of nearly 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition worth more than $106 million as Israel intensifies its military operations in the southern Gaza Strip, the State Department says.
The department says it notified Congress of the sale late Friday after Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined that “an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale” of the munitions in the US national security interest.
The emergency determination means that the purchase will bypass the congressional review requirement for foreign military sales. Such determinations are rare, but not unprecedented, when administrations see an urgent need for weapons to be delivered without waiting for congressional approval.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the department says in a statement. “Israel will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense.”
The sale is worth $106.5 million and includes 13,981 120 mm High Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Purpose with Tracer tank cartridges as well as US support, engineering and logistics.