Home News Israel calls alliance with US ‘ironclad’ after $15 billion in military aid

Israel calls alliance with US ‘ironclad’ after $15 billion in military aid


Israel welcomed a U.S. aid package signed by President Joe Biden on Wednesday that will provide some $15 billion in military aid to Israel, increasing U.S. support for its closest Middle East ally despite Their relationship was strained Israel’s prosecution of the Gaza Strip war.

“Our alliance is ironclad,” Israel Katz, the country’s foreign minister, said at the a statement Thank you Mr. Biden for signing this bill. It’s part of a long-stalled $95.3 billion in aid that has faced fierce opposition from some Republicans for supporting Ukraine, which is also part of the legislation, as is Taiwan.

Aid to Israel includes more than $5 billion to replenish the country’s three defense systems: iron domeintercepts rockets flying in a high arc; David’s Sling, which shoots down drones, missiles and rockets; and iron beamwhich is designed to use a laser beam to destroy incoming projectiles.

It also includes $1 billion to bolster production and development of artillery and ammunition, and $2.4 billion for military operations in the U.S. Central Command region, which includes the Middle East and parts of South Asia and East Africa.

Biden said at the White House on Wednesday that he would authorize “significant support for Israel,” less than two weeks ago. Iran attacked the country More than 300 missiles and drones were shot down, almost all of them. Biden also noted that Israel has been fighting the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

“Israel’s security is critical,” Mr. Biden said. “I will always ensure that Israel has everything it needs to defend itself against Iran and the terrorists it supports.”

Aid bill signed as Israel continues to make plans Invasion of the southern Gaza city of RafahMore than one million displaced Palestinians have taken refuge there. The Biden administration has said it would oppose such an incursion without a viable plan to protect civilians from harm.

Biden said the bill also provides $1 billion in additional humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza, including food, medical supplies and clean water. “Israel must ensure that all this aid reaches the Palestinians in Gaza immediately,” he said.

Severe hunger is already widespread in Gaza, and the U.N. agency World Food Program warned on Wednesday that famine could begin there within six weeks without a significant increase in food supplies.

“We are getting closer to famine,” Gian Carlo Siry, director of the World Food Program’s Geneva office, told reporters. “Child malnutrition is spreading.”

Mr. Siri said about 30 per cent of Gaza’s children under 2 years old were severely malnourished. He said that in northern Gaza, 70% of the population faces catastrophic hunger, which means they have exhausted almost all means of coping except eating animal feed or selling items to buy food.

“Most of them were destitute and apparently some of them were starving to death,” he said.

The heat is intensify pain In Gaza, temperatures hit 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) on Wednesday, with many civilians sweltering in makeshift tents under the scorching sun.

“The tent felt like it was on fire,” said Maryam Arafat, 23, who had taken refuge with her husband and three young children in Deir al Balah, central Gaza. They fled their home in Gaza City, which was bombed by Israel during the winter. “It’s so hot that you can’t stand it, especially for little kids,” she said.

Ms. Arafat said she fanned the children with a piece of cardboard and wetted their heads and limbs with what little water she had. Hot weather combined with a lack of clean water has heightened concerns about the spread of water-borne diseases in Gaza.

Despite the humanitarian crisis, aid is blocked from funding UNRWA, the main U.N. agency providing aid to Palestinians in Gaza.USA Suspension of donations to the organization This year, Israel accused more than a dozen of the agency’s employees of participating in Hamas-led attacks on Israel on Oct. 7 and subsequent attacks. The United Nations is conducting an internal review of the allegations.

But an independent review commissioned by the United Nations reported this week that Israel No evidence provided to support its allegations that many UNRWA staff were members of Hamas and other terrorist groups.

The Committee recommends that UNRWA protect its neutrality, conduct additional screening and training of its staff, and work more closely with host countries and Israel to share its staff rosters.

Oren Marmorstein, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, condemned the review after it was released, calling it “an effort to avoid problems.”

But Germany, one of Israel’s close allies, said on Wednesday it would resume funding for UNRWA, some three months later Suspension of payments.This announcement may cause Longstanding ties with Israel further strainedworsened by divisions over the war in Gaza.

Germany donated more than $200 million for UNRWA in 2023 and is the second largest donor after the United States.Several other countries, including Australia, Canada and Sweden, have also Resumption of funding for UNRWA.

America is so far largest weapons supplier Israel, although the Biden administration has Facing growth It has largely maintained military support despite calls to limit or halt arms shipments.

The package signed by Biden does not place any conditions on military aid to Israel. That’s a sticking point for some liberal Democrats who have become more outspoken in their criticism of Israeli military conduct in Gaza, where more than 34,000 people have died, according to the region’s health authorities.

Asked on Wednesday whether the Biden administration would cut off U.S. aid to Israeli military units accused of human rights abuses, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the matter was a matter for the State Department to decide and the White House would not intervene.

State Council It is a weighing action Confrontation with Israeli Military Camp Netzah Yehuda U.S. law Ban U.S. equipment, funding, and training from foreign military units found to have committed serious human rights abuses. The unit is under investigation in Israel for crimes committed in the West Bank before the October 7 attack.

Report contributors: Katie Edmondson, Robert Jimison, Raja Abdul Rahim, Amira Haruda and shashank bengali.

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