newsU.S.-Israel Relations

Report: US has provided Israel $6.5b in military aid since Oct. 7

The substantial aid package included nearly $3 billion approved in May, according to The Washington Post.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant participate in a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., June 25, 2024. Credit: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Eugene Oliver/U.S. Department of Defense.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant participate in a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., June 25, 2024. Credit: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Eugene Oliver/U.S. Department of Defense.

The United States has provided $6.5 billion in security assistance to Israel since the outbreak of the war against the Hamas terror organization on Oct. 7, according to a senior Biden administration official. The previously undisclosed figure was revealed following Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s visit to Washington this week, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. 

The substantial aid package, which includes nearly $3 billion approved in May, comes amid recent tensions between the two allies over the pace of arms transfers.

“This is a massive, massive undertaking,” the senior official stated, speaking on condition of anonymity. The disclosure aims to highlight the depth and complexity of U.S. support for Israel.

To address Israeli concerns about potential delays in aid delivery, U.S. arms transfer experts conducted a thorough review of “hundreds of separate items” with their Israeli counterparts during Gallant’s four-day visit. This effort sought to counter recent claims by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “bottlenecks” in the arms flow, described as “perplexing” and “inaccurate” by the White House.

Gallant emphasized the importance of U.S. support during a press briefing.

“Our ties with the United States are the second-most important element for Israel’s security,” he said, highlighting the need for American diplomatic, political and material assistance.

The defense minister reported “significant progress” in addressing obstacles and expediting various issues, particularly regarding force build-up and munitions supply. “Obstacles were removed and bottlenecks were addressed in order to advance a variety of issues,” Gallant stated.

The senior U.S. official acknowledged the complexities of the arms transfer process while noting potential misunderstandings on the Israeli side regarding specific requests.

“In terms of bottlenecks, it is a complicated, bureaucratic system that we have for good reason,” the official explained, citing obligations to Congress, laws and regulations.

Describing the visit as “highly constructive and productive,” the official praised Gallant’s “professional approach.” 

Despite the ongoing flow of arms, the Biden administration continues to withhold a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs, citing concerns about their potential use in densely populated areas.

During his visit, Gallant met with key U.S. national security officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Discussions covered various topics, including efforts to secure a ceasefire with Hamas, the return of Israeli hostages from Gaza and plans for its future governance. Some 120 Israeli hostages are still being held captive by Hamas, 43 of whom have been declared dead by Israel. 

Other topics of discussion included Iran’s escalating production of near weapons-grade uranium and ongoing disputes over humanitarian aid distribution in Gaza.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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