Two days after the breakout of war between Israel and Hamas, the Biden administration announced this Monday of its plan to send more military aid to Israel, a move that can only exacerbate the conflict.
While the war between Israel and Hamas entered second day this Monday, an announcement from Washington was noticeable. The Biden administration said in a statement on Monday morning that along with the US Congress, they are working to fulfill Tel Aviv’s request to urgently transfer more and more weapons to Israel.
According to two US officials familiar with the matter, Israeli officials asked the US late Saturday to transfer specific weapons systems, and that the Biden administration, along with Congress, are both working to make that happen. ‘The president has directed his team to do everything possible to support Israel in the conflict, said one of the officials. “They told us, ‘Tell us what you need, you will get it,’” said the second official.
A few hours later, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN that the coming weapons transfers from US to Israel could be part of a new package of assistance for Tel Aviv. “We are looking at specific additional requests that the Israelis have made. I think you’re likely to hear more about that later today,” Blinken told CNN.
Confirming the news, the White House issued a statement on Sunday evening, saying that it plans to direct additional support for Israel “in the face of this unprecedented terrorist assault by Hamas”.
“The president and Vice President Kamala Harris were briefed on Sunday morning by their national security team on the situation in Israel, and will continue to receive updates to respond to Israel’s request as soon as possible,” the statement added.
Can Biden fulfill his promise to Israel?
While the Biden administration confirmed the news on its intention to send military aid to Israel, there are reasons to doubt Washington’s promise.
First of all, any requests for additional aid for Israel must first get the approval from the House, which would need to approve extra funding to allow that. Shedding more doubts over Biden’s promise, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy noted on Saturday that “there is nothing the House can do until they elect a speaker, and I don’t know if that happens quickly.” House Republicans will meet next week to decide between two candidates for speaker, Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Echoing the same concern, a Defense Department official, who spoke to Fox News under the condition of anonymity, said there were no immediate plans to try to send Israel more weapons or military equipment, but that the situation is in its early stages.
Second, the US is already busy sending huge amount of military aid to Ukraine, another US ally that is fighting a war in Europe. But it seems providing another ally at war is not an easy task for the Biden administration considering all the huge amount of money it has so far sent to Ukraine.
Since the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022, the US has sent its European ally over $60 billion in funding and equipment through military, economic, and humanitarian aid. Overlay, Washington has allocated $113.4 billion in emergency funding to support Ukraine, American partners in regions affected by the conflict, and US national security programs.
Denying any shortcoming, the U.S. official said the administration does not anticipate that any military assistance to Israel will impact its ability to continue to send weapons to Ukraine, as the two countries use different systems. “It is true that the US has sent significant amounts of military aid to Ukraine, but it has also deliberately made sure it has enough in its own stockpiles to protect itself and its allies if the need arises,” the official said.