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State Department used emergency powers to bypass Congress, provide Israel with missiles

State Department used emergency powers to bypass Congress, provide Israel with missiles U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (photo: GettyImages)

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has used emergency powers to authorize the sale of approximately 14,000 tank rounds to Israel without Congressional approval, according to the Reuters.

On Friday, December 9, the U.S. State Department, declaring an emergency situation, invoked the Arms Export Control Act to approve the expedited sale of tank rounds worth $106.5 million to Israel.

These rounds are part of a larger deal exceeding $500 million, which includes 45,000 rounds for Israeli Merkava tanks, and the Biden administration is seeking Congressional approval for the overall package.

As tensions escalate in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the issue of how and where American weapons are used in the conflict has come under increased scrutiny. However, U.S. officials maintain that they do not plan to impose conditions on military aid to Jerusalem.

The Pentagon stated that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has provided detailed justification to Congress, explaining that the tank rounds must be immediately provided to Israel for the benefit of the national security of the United States.

The sale will be conducted from the U.S. Army's stockpiles and will include 120mm tank cartridges for the M830A1 Multi-Purpose Anti-Tank (MPAT) tracer projectiles, along with associated equipment.

"Israel will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense," said officials at the Pentagon.

Aid from U.S. to Israel

The United States has been supporting Jerusalem since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas. Specifically, they have deployed several aircraft carriers and thousands of soldiers off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea to prevent the intervention of other countries or groups in the conflict.

Additionally, the U.S. confirmed the shipment of two Iron Dome systems to Israel a month ago, which are necessary for the country's defense against rocket attacks from Hamas militants.

On December 9, the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as they believe it would only benefit Palestinian Hamas militants.