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You are here News International State Department Approves Sale Of Tank Ammunition To Israel In Deal That Bypasses Congress

State Department Approves Sale Of Tank Ammunition To Israel In Deal That Bypasses Congress

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Sec. of State BlinkenGoing around Congress, the Biden administration said Saturday it has approved the emergency sale to Israel of nearly 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition worth more than $106 million as Israel intensifies its military operations in the southern Gaza Strip.

The move comes as President Joe Biden’s request for a nearly $106 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other national security is languishing in Congress, caught up in a debate over U.S. immigration policy and border security. Some Democratic lawmakers have spoken of making the proposed $14.3 billion in American assistance to its Mideast ally contingent on concrete steps by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to reduce civilian casualties in Gaza during the war with Hamas.

The State Department said it had notified Congress of the sale late Friday after Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined “an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale” of the munitions in the U.S. national security interest.

That means the purchase will bypass the congressional review requirement for foreign military sales. Such determinations are rare, but not unprecedented, when administrations see an urgent need for weapons to be delivered without waiting for lawmakers’ approval.

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