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Saturday, July 20, 2024

US Conceals 100 Arms Sales to Israel During Gaza War: Report

Recent reports reveal that the United States has executed over 100 weapons sales to Israel during the ongoing conflict in Gaza. These transactions, which included thousands of bombs, have escaped congressional oversight due to each deal falling below the dollar amount requiring approval. The Biden administration, while critical of Israeli military operations, has maintained a substantial and discreet supply of munitions to replenish Israel’s arsenal.

Congressional Oversight Bypassed

The weapons sales to Israel managed to evade scrutiny as each transaction remained below the threshold that necessitates congressional approval. The Biden administration reportedly conveyed these sales’ details to Congress in a classified briefing, citing exceptions in the Arms Export Control Act for arms sales to close allies.

Nature of the Sales

While specific details of the sales remain undisclosed, they are reported to include precision-guided munitions, small-diameter bombs, bunker busters, small arms, and other lethal aid. The deliberate strategy of keeping each sale small has kept the contents secret.

Criticism and Concerns

The revelation of these under-the-radar weapons deliveries has sparked criticism and concerns regarding transparency and accountability. Critics argue that the administration’s approach mirrors tactics employed by the previous administration, exploiting loopholes to avoid congressional oversight.

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“This doesn’t just seem like an attempt to avoid technical compliance with US arms export law; it’s an extremely troubling way to avoid transparency and accountability on a high-profile issue,” said Ari Tolany, Director of the Security Assistance Monitor at the Centre for International Policy think tank.

Continuation of a Precedent

The Biden administration’s actions are likened to its predecessor, following a similar path to dodge congressional scrutiny. The Trump administration had made numerous below-threshold arms transfers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, raising concerns about adherence to accountability standards.

Defending Arms Sales to Israel

The Biden administration has defended its continued arms sales to Israel, emphasizing its commitment to Israel’s self-defense. Officials argue that these sales support Israel’s campaign to prevent a recurrence of attacks and align with international humanitarian law.

Lack of Transparency

The lack of transparency in assessing whether Israeli forces are committing war crimes has also raised concerns. The administration’s assertion of supporting Israel’s legitimate military campaign is met with calls for a more robust evaluation of the impact of US-supplied armaments.

Congressional Oversight Demands

Democratic congressman Joaquin Castro, emphasizing the need for transparency, pushed for an amendment requiring reporting of all arms sales to Congress if the total sales to a single country exceeded a threshold over a fiscal year. Despite the amendment not being adopted, Castro remains committed to promoting congressional oversight and public awareness of arms exports.

In a written statement, Castro stated, “While the amendment was not adopted, I’ll continue to push for our ability to conduct congressional oversight and for Americans to know where our arms are being exported to.”

John Collins
John Collins
John is an esteemed journalist and author renowned for their incisive reporting and deep insights into global affairs. As a prominent contributor to City Telegraph, John brings over 5 years of experience covering diverse geopolitical landscapes, from the corridors of power in major capitals to the frontlines of conflict zones.

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