The 14,000 grenades are half of a bigger sale that the Biden administration is asking Congress to approve.
The US authorities has used emergency authority to authorize the sale of about 14,000 tank shells to Israel with out congressional overview, the Pentagon says.
The State Division on Friday used an emergency declaration underneath the Arms Export Management Act for the $106.5 million tank rounds for fast supply to Israel, the Pentagon stated in an announcement on Saturday.
The grenades are half of a bigger sale that the Biden administration is asking Congress to approve. The bigger bundle is price greater than $500 million and consists of 45,000 shells for Israel’s Merkava tanks, that are frequently used within the Gaza offensive that has killed hundreds of civilians.
Not less than 17,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7, with greater than 48,800 injured.
On Friday, the US vetoed a UN Safety Council demand for a direct humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The vote got here after U.N. Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres took a uncommon step on Wednesday to formally warn the 15-member council of a worldwide menace posed by the two-month battle.
Because the battle intensifies, precisely how and the place U.S. weapons are used within the battle has come underneath rising scrutiny, at the same time as U.S. officers say there are not any plans to impose circumstances on navy support to Israel, or to to think about withholding this help.
Rights advocates expressed concern in regards to the sale, saying it’s inconsistent with Washington’s efforts to stress Israel to reduce civilian casualties.
A State Division official stated Saturday that Washington stays clear with the Israeli authorities that it should adjust to worldwide regulation and take all attainable steps to forestall hurt to civilians.
The proposed sale indicators the US dedication to Israel’s safety and can strengthen Israel’s defensive capabilities, the official stated.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken decided and supplied detailed justification to Congress that the tank shells must be delivered instantly to Israel within the curiosity of US nationwide safety, the Pentagon assertion stated.
The sale shall be from the US Military stock and consists of 120mm M830A1 Excessive Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Function with Tracer (MPAT) tank cartridges and associated tools.
“Israel will use the improved capabilities as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen the protection of its homeland,” the Pentagon stated, including that there shall be no damaging influence on U.S. protection readiness because of the sale.
Israel’s Merkava tanks, which use 120mm shells, have additionally been linked to incidents killing journalists.
On Thursday, a Reuters investigation discovered that an Israeli tank crew killed journalist Issam Abdallah and injured six reporters by firing two grenades in fast succession from Israel whereas the journalists had been filming cross-border shelling.
For the reason that outbreak of the Gaza battle, a minimum of 63 journalists have been killed, together with 56 Palestinians, 4 Israelis and three Lebanese nationals, in response to media watchdog Committee to Protest Journalists.