Election 2024 Countdown


Biden greenlights $1 billion weapon shipment to Israel week after withholding bombs

The Biden administration announced its approval of a $1 billion weapon shipment to Israel just one week after President Joe Biden announced he would withhold a weapons shipment if Israel launched an offensive into Rafah.

The administration notified Congress of the move on Tuesday, the Washington Examiner independently confirmed.

Officials told the Wall Street Journal that the package includes offensive weapons, including $700 million in tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles, and $60 million in mortar rounds. Additional steps must be taken before the weapons are approved and delivered.

Biden greenlights $1 billion weapon shipment to Israel week after withholding bombs  at george magazine
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on buildings near the separating wall between Egypt and Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, May 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Ramez Habboub)

The move was foreshadowed by national security adviser John Kirby, speaking with reporters last week.

“[Biden] also said yesterday that he will continue to ensure that Israel has all of the military means it needs to defend itself against all of its enemies, including Hamas,” he said. “For him, this is very straightforward: He’s going to continue to provide Israel with all of the capabilities it needs, but he does not want certain categories of American weapons used in a particular type of operation in a particular place. And again, he has been clear and consistent with that.”

Kirby further clarified that Israel has not yet launched a Rafah operation that crosses Biden’s red line. Biden said last week he would withhold specific 2,000-pound bombs from Israel if the country expanded operations into Rafah, where Palestinian refugees have fled due to the war.

Israel began an offensive into Rafah last week, which has continued with airstrikes and ground operations. It’s unclear what Biden’s red line regarding Rafah is.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) signaled that the lower chamber was satisfied with Biden’s action.

“I think it’s important for us to express again the will of Congress on the matter and so I don’t think we’ll be changing what we do on the legislation,” he told reporters Tuesday evening.

Tuesday’s move to approve another major weapons shipment is likely to lose Biden the goodwill he received from progressive Democratic allies after his announcement that offensive weapons would be withheld, which in turn drew him ire from Republicans and pro-Israel Democrats.


Biden has attempted to balance the passions of pro-Israel Democrats with the vehement opposition of pro-Palestinian Democrats during Israel’s campaign in Gaza. The invasion of Rafah has emerged as a new flashpoint, with the Biden administration repeatedly warning Israel of the consequences if it launches an all-out assault on the area.

Cami Mondeaux and Naomi Lim contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!