Miami Herald (Sunday)

Report: U.S. has made new arms transfer to Israel


The Biden administra­tion has approved the transfer of more bombs and fighter jets to Israel even after voicing its disapprova­l of a planned new ground offensive in southern Gaza, according to published report.

The White House has approved sending 1,800 MK84 2,000-pound bombs and 500 MK82 500-pound bombs to Israel in a new arms transfer that it was not required to report to Congress, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Citing Pentagon and State Department officials familiar with the matter, the newspaper said the new arms shipment — made under the authority of a law approved in 2009 — is worth billions of dollars and comes at a time when President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are feuding over the Israeli leader’s stated plan to launch an offensive in and around the city of Rafah.

Since at least February, Israel has warned it is preparing to send troops into the city where hundreds of thousands of Palestinia­n refugees have fled following their mass displaceme­nt by the war in Gaza.

The plan has sparked internatio­nal worries. United Nations High Commission­er of Human Rights has stated such an offensive “would incur massive loss of life and would heighten the risk of further atrocity crimes.”

Netanyahu this reiterated his claims that he “has no choice” but to achieve total victory defined as the destructio­n of Hamas’ military and governing capabiliti­es in Gaza and the release of all Israeli hostages — something that can only be done by destroying the militant group’s remaining stronghold­s in Rafah.

Biden’s early and effusive support of Israel at the beginning of the war in October has since been tempered by the apparent loss of tens of thousands of civilian Palestinia­n lives and he has voiced skepticism about the planned Rafah offensive, telling Netanyahu over the phone that he has “deep concerns” over it.

But those concerns have not stopped his moves to supply Israel with more arms, including the transfer of MK84 2,000-pound bombs, which have been implicated in mass-casualty events during Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

The Post report sparked protests from several quarters, including a statement from Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independen­t from Vermont.

“The U.S. cannot beg Netanyahu to stop bombing civilians one day and the next send him thousands more 2,000 lb. bombs that can level entire city blocks. This is obscene,” Sanders said on X. “We must end our complicity: No more bombs to Israel.”

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