February 24, 2024

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The Biden administration again bypasses Congress to sell military equipment to Israel

The Biden administration again bypasses Congress to sell military equipment to Israel

Julia Nickinson/Reuters

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the State Department in Washington on December 21, 2023.



CNN

Biden administration For the second time this month The United States bypassed Congress to approve the transfer of nearly $150 million in military equipment to Israel amid the country's war against Hamas.

A State Department spokesman said Friday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed Congress that he had made an emergency decision to immediately approve the transfer of “additional 155mm elements, including the fuses, charges, and primers that make 155mm projectiles effective.”

“Given the urgency of Israel's defense needs, the Secretary informed Congress that he exercised his delegated authority to establish an existing emergency that would require immediate approval of the transfer,” the spokesperson said.

The additional items were added to previous sales, “bringing the total value of the sale to $147.5 million,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, the administration rushed to sell thousands of munitions to Israel, bypassing the usual 20-day period given to congressional committees to review such a sale. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent an emergency announcement to the oversight committees that more than 13,000 tank shells would be delivered to Israel without any “further information, details, or guarantees.”

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said at the time: “We remain clear with the Government of Israel that it must adhere to it [international humanitarian law] It must take all possible steps to avoid harming civilians.

The $106 million deal was part of a larger order to sell a total of 45,000 tank shells to Israel.

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