US Biden government approved 100 'secret' arms deals to Israel amid Gaza war

US Biden government approved 100 'secret' arms deals to Israel amid Gaza war
The Biden administration approved 100 arms sales to Israel since October, circumventing the need for congressional oversight.
3 min read
07 March, 2024
An increasing amount of Americans believe arms sales to Israel ought to halt as it continues its brutal assault on Gaza [Getty]

The administration of US President Joe Biden scretely authorised over 100 weapons sales to Israel, including thousands of bombs, since Israel’s war on Gaza began on 7 October, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The deals circumvented the need for congressional oversight by keeping each transaction below the mandated approval threshold.

Only two US military sales to Israel have been made public since the start of Israel's war on Gaza: $106 million worth of tank ammunition and $147.5 million of components needed to make 155 mm shells.

However, in the case of the 100 other weapons sales, the transfers were processed without any public debate because each fell under a specific dollar amount that requires the Biden administration to individually notify Congress.

It comes amid growing calls for arms bans to Israel, due to the huge number of civilians - particularly children - killed in Israel's war on Gaza.

Israel’s bombing campaign on the tiny coastal enclave is one of the most intense in military history. More than 30,700 Palestinians have been killed, while much of the strip has been left uninhabitable, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, including a looming famine. Hospitals, schools, and other civilian

Few details are known of the transactions, as keeping each sale small means their contents can remain secret and beyond the reach of the legislature.


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However, the arms are said to include precision-guided munitions, small-diameter bombs, bunker busters, small arms, and other lethal aid, according to The Washington Post.

The discreet arms sales by the Biden administration have led to accusations of Washington attempting to obscure its complicity in the massive destruction and loss of human life caused by Israel in Gaza, which the UN’s top court ruled amounted to plausible acts of genocide in January.

"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," Ari Tolany, director of the security assistance monitor at the Centre for International Policy think tank, told The Guardian.

This comes as there is increasing scrutiny on and a disconnect with the US’s role in Israel’s war on Gaza, both within Congress and among the public.

On Monday, a YouGov poll commissioned by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that 52 percent of Americans agree that the US government should halt weapons shipments to Israel until it "discontinues its attacks on Gaza".

On Wednesday, the Biden administration faced growing calls from fellow Democrats to push Israel to ease the devastating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with some saying they may try to stop military assistance if conditions for civilians do not improve.