US plans $1 bn Israel arms delivery despite Rafah assault: Reports

International |  IANS  | Published :

Washington, May 15 (IANS/DPA) The United States is planning a new arms delivery to Israel worth more than $1 billion, local media reported.

US President Joe Biden's administration has informed Congress of this, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

According to the report, the package contains tank ammunition, tactical vehicles and mortar shells.

According to other US media reports, the government has also initiated the authorisation process in Congress, which is still at an early stage, according to television channel CNN.

The US government is currently withholding delivery of so-called heavy bombs due to Israel's actions in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Last week, Biden threatened Israel that an Israeli offensive in the city, which is overcrowded with internally displaced persons from other parts of the Gaza Strip, could have consequences for US arms deliveries.

The White House subsequently endeavoured to make it clear that the US government would not abandon Israel and that only this one delivery had been paused.

On Monday, Biden's security advisor, Jake Sullivan, said Washington would continue to provide military assistance to Israel.

Biden's spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday, when asked about Israel's actions in Rafah, that Washington had been assured that the Israeli army was carrying out a limited operation and not a major ground operation in Rafah.

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