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White House Pushes Arms Sales to Israel in Contrast to Tough Talk

( – The US is the biggest contributor to Israel’s defense fund. That has not changed in the wake of the war on Gaza. The White House is now selling more arms to the country despite facing pushback from Americans.

President Joe Biden’s administration urged Congress to approve the $18 billion sale of F-15 fighter jets to the Israeli military. The State Department sent two informal notices to two congressional committees calling on lawmakers to begin the review process to finalize the sales. The administration wants to transfer up to 50 planes to the Middle Eastern ally.

Two US officials confirmed the deal to various news organizations. If lawmakers approve the sale, it would be the largest arms sale to the country in years and would include training and munitions.

The arms order is part of a $3.8 billion annual military aid agreement that former President Barack Obama’s administration finalized in 2016. The news comes as the White House and Israel are dealing with the fallout from an airstrike that killed seven aid workers on April 1.

The Israeli Defense Forces targeted a clearly marked convoy from the World Central Kitchen that was delivering food in Gaza. Among those killed in the attack was an American citizen. President Biden’s administration has called for an investigation into what happened. The White House has also increased calls for a ceasefire tied to the release of hostages being held in Gaza.

While Biden has tried to take a tougher stance, he has undercut his own position by constantly making clear that his administration stands by Israel.

Israel has used its own F-15 planes to attack Gaza in recent months. It requested more planes from America to bolster its defenses in light of threats from Lebanon and Iran. Though it’s not usual for the US to send arms to its ally, it appears to be muddying the Biden administration’s tougher approach in recent weeks.

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