AP: The US will provide Israel with a billion dollars worth of weapons and ammunition

Olha Bereziuk

US President Joe Bidenʼs administration has told key lawmakers that it will send more than $1 billion worth of additional weapons and ammunition to Israel.

This was reported to the Associated Press agency by three congressmenʼs assistants.

This is the first arms shipment to Israel that has been reported since the Biden administration suspended the transfer of the bombs this month.

The new package includes about $700 million for tank ammunition, $500 million for tactical vehicles and $60 million for mortar rounds, congressional aides said.

It is not known when the weapons will be handed over to Israel. Two congressional aides said the shipment was not part of the long-awaited foreign aid package passed by Congress and signed by President Biden last month.

Israelʼs war in the Gaza Strip

Active hostilities between Israel and Hamas have been ongoing since October 7, 2023, when militants of the Islamist group launched a massive missile attack on the southern and central regions of Israel, invaded the countryʼs territory, killed hundreds of civilians and took hostages.

In response, Israel launched a counter-terrorist operation, and then a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. The Prime Minister of the country Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israelʼs military goals are clear — "the destruction of the military and management potential of Hamas and the return of the hostages home." At the beginning of December, Israel expanded the military operation to the entire territory of the Gaza Strip.

According to Reuters, Israel wants to create a buffer zone in the Gaza Strip after the end of the war with Hamas to prevent future attacks.

On April 7, 2024, the Israel Defense Forces withdrew all ground troops from the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Only one brigade remained there — "Nakhal". In mid-April, the Prime Minister of Israel announced that the IDF would conduct an operation in the city of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians are currently residing. Evacuation of the population to humanitarian enclaves is planned. The Israeli authorities are determined to conduct an operation and eliminate the last four Hamas battalions based in the city. There is also a task to eliminate the leaders of the militants.

The UN is already preparing for the invasion of Israeli troops in Rafah. The US is actively pressuring Israel to revise the operation plan. Washington does not want a large number of civilian casualties, as this will affect the pre-election atmosphere in the US.