The United States has approved a $735 million weapons deal to Israel.
Congressional sources say US President Joe Biden greenlighted the sale yesterday, in what will include special munition capabilities supplying Israel with American-manufactured Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) capable of transforming bombs into precision-guided missiles.
Biden has repeatedly said that Israel ‘has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks.’
The Biden administration notified Congress that it had authorized the major arms agreement on 5 May, said the report, starting a countdown of 20 days for lawmakers to file any resolutions against the sale.
The Washington Post, which was the first publication to break the story, cited sources suggesting the bill could be used to leverage pressure on Israel to implement a ceasefire with Hamas. “Allowing this proposed sale of smart bombs to go through without putting pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire will only enable further carnage,” a legislator on the House Foreign Affairs Committee purportedly told the paper.
Given the enormous bipartisan support of Israel on both sides of the political aisle, however, it is largely unlikely that any such resolution barring the arm sale would be passed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan immediately accused his American counterpart of “writing history with your bloody hands in this incident that is a serious disproportionate attack on Gaza, which is leading to the martyrdom of hundreds of thousands of people,” he said after a cabinet meeting in Ankara.
Erdoğan has been an ardent proponent of the Palestinian cause, and fierce critic of the Jewish State.
The Turkish leader then condemned Austria for flying an Israeli flag over the federal chancellery in Vienna last Friday.
“The state of Austria is trying to make Muslims pay the price for the Jews it subjected to genocide,” Erdoğan claimed.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who is firmly pro-Israel, described the display of the nation’s flag as a show of solidarity amid the clashes.