Israel WAR: Biden Bypasses Congress, AGAIN

The Biden administration used emergency powers to bypass congressional approval to sell weapons to Israel for the second time since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on Friday, The Associated Press reported.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress he had determined Israel has an emergency requirement for the fuses, charges and primers and other components of the 155mm ammunition Israel is already fielding covered under the $147 million sale, the State Department said Friday, according to the AP. Israel needs the equipment to make the munitions functional, justifying the bypass, even as President Joe Biden has reportedly sparred with Israeli leadership over the conduct of the war and its mounting civilian toll.

“Given the urgency of Israel’s defensive needs, the secretary notified Congress that he had exercised his delegated authority to determine an emergency existed necessitating the immediate approval of the transfer,” the department said in a statement, according to the AP.

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to ensure Israel is able to defend itself against the threats it faces,” it said.

Blinken made a similar determination on Dec. 9, allowing Israel to move forward with a $106 million sale of 4,000 rounds of U.S.-made tank ammunition without the usual congressional oversight procedure, according to the AP. Typically, Congress has a mandate to review and approve foreign military sales.

The State Department endeavored to counter criticism to the sale motivated by concerns over Israel’s conduct in the war, according to the AP. Bombs dropped by Israel’s military have contributed to the more than 20,000 civilian deaths in Gaza, the Hamas terrorist group has said, according to NBC News.

“We continue to strongly emphasize to the government of Israel that they must not only comply with international humanitarian law, but also take every feasible step to prevent harm to civilians,” the State Department said, according to the AP.

“Hamas hides behind civilians and has embedded itself among the civilian population, but that does not lessen Israel’s responsibility and strategic imperative to distinguish between civilians and Hamas terrorists as it conducts its military operations,” the department said. “This type of campaign can only be won by protecting civilians.”

Israel’s military said Hamas has fired roughly 11,000 rockets at Israel’s cities since Oct. 7, when the designated terrorist group executed an incursion of Israel, slaughtering around 1,200 Israelis.

Hamas conceals its activities in civilian buildings and a vast tunnel network that runs underneath sensitive non-military sites, including homes and hospitals, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says. The IDF has denied reports of indiscriminate bombing of Gaza targets.

Biden has requested a nearly $106 billion emergency aid package for Ukraine and Israel and other national security concerns that exceed Congress’ planned budgeting processes, but negotiations over the supplemental have stalled in Congress. That includes whether to pass the legislation in one large package or break it down into individual requirements, including the $14.3 billion allocated for Israel.

Israel’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

via wnd

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