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US approves emergency tank shells sale to Israel

House and Senate appropriators have added into their two fiscal 2024 Defense spending bills a combined $25.7 billion the Pentagon did not formally seek for more than 1,200 research and procurement projects, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of a watchdog group’s previously undisclosed database. (Dreamstime/TNS)
December 11, 2023

The US Department of Defense has approved the sale to Israel of 120mm M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Purpose with Tracer (MPAT) tank cartridges and related equipment for an estimated cost of $106.5 million. The approval comes a day after the US vetoes a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The anti-tank shells are capable of penetrating heavy armor.

The approval of the sale follows Israel’s request for 13,981 MPAT shells. The sale price includes publications and technical documentation, US government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; studies and surveys, and other related elements of logistics and program support. As part of the sale, the US Secretary of State provided a detailed justification to Congress that an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to Israel.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said, “The US is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives. — The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”

Message from the Biden Administration

This sale is a message from the Biden Administration, after last Wednesday the Senate blocked a bill led by Biden, which included economic aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan as well as well as funds allocated to improve the protection of US borders. The bill was defeated by 51 votes to 49 with all the Republican backing opposition to the legislation because it contained insufficient measures that they are demanding in order to support the bill to curb immigration to the US.

The defense aid package for US allies blocked in Congress amounts to $111 billion, of which $10 billion is allocated to Israel. $10 billion is the equivalent of three years of US military aid to Israel, or half of Israel’s annual defense budget. If the negotiations on the legislation do not bear fruit in the coming few days, the bill could be delayed until after the Christmas holidays.


(c) 2023 the Globes 

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