Publish dateSunday 10 December 2023 - 14:53
Story Code : 281926
US skips review by Congress, okays sale of tank shells to Israel
The Biden administration has used an emergency authority to allow the sale of about 14,000 tank shells to Israel without congressional review, the Pentagon said on Saturday.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA) - Monitoring: The State Department used an Arms Export Control Act emergency declaration on Friday for the tank rounds worth $106.5 million for immediate delivery to Israel, the Pentagon said in a statement.
The shells are part of a bigger sale that the Biden administration is asking the US Congress to approve. The larger package is worth more than $500m and includes 45,000 shells for Israel’s Merkava tanks, regularly deployed in Gaza.
How and where exactly the US weapons are used in the bombardment of Gaza has come under more scrutiny, even though US officials say there are no plans to put conditions on military aid to Israel or to consider withholding some of it.
Rights advocates expressed concern over the sale, saying it doesn’t align with Washington’s effort to press Israel to minimise civilian casualties.
A State Department official said Washington continues to be clear with the Israeli government that it must comply with international humanitarian law and take every feasible step to avoid harm to civilians.
The proposed sale conveys US commitment to Israel’s security and it will bolster Israel’s defensive capabilities, the official said.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined and provided detailed justification to Congress that the tank shells must immediately be provided to Israel in the national security interests of the United States, according to the Pentagon statement.
The sale will be from US Army inventory and consist of 120mm M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Purpose with Tracer tank cartridges and related equipment. /Dawn news
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