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US admin approves emergency sale of tank rounds to Israel

The State Department on Friday used an Arms Export Control Act emergency declaration for immediate delivery of the tank rounds.

Israeli artillery fire towards Hezbollah targets in Southern Lebanon, Aug. 4. 2006. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Israeli artillery fire towards Hezbollah targets in Southern Lebanon, Aug. 4. 2006. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

The Biden administration approved the sale of 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition to Israel for about $106.5 million, the Pentagon said on Saturday.

The State Department on Friday used an Arms Export Control Act emergency declaration for immediate delivery of the ammunition to Israel, bypassing congressional review.

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives,” a statement issued by the State Department said.

The ammunition will come from U.S. inventory and consist of 120mm M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Purpose with Tracer (MPAT) tank rounds and related equipment.

The shells are part of a bigger sale first reported by Reuters on Friday that the White House is asking the U.S. Congress to approve.

That package is worth more than $500 million and includes 45,000 shells for Israel’s Merkava tanks.

The United States has maintained its support for Israel despite the calls from rights groups demanding a ceasefire, citing the high casualty figures of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the United States on Saturday for its veto at the U.N. Security Council, which blocked a demand for a ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

“Other countries must also understand that it’s impossible to support the elimination of Hamas on one side, and on the other to call for the end of the war, which will prevent the elimination of Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

“Therefore, Israel will continue our just war to eliminate Hamas and achieve the war’s other objectives that we set,” he added.

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