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Biden advances $1 billion in arms for Israel amid Rafah tensions

The Biden administration informally notified congressional committees Tuesday that it planned to move forward with more than $1 billion in weapons deals for Israel, said U.S. officials familiar with the matter, a major transfer of lethal aid that comes a week after the White House paused a single shipment of bombs because of concerns that a planned assault in southern Gaza could cause immense civilian casualties.

The arms deals allow for the potential transfer of $700 million in tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.

The decision underscores the administration's reluctance to defy pro-Israel donors in the Democratic Party who criticized Biden's decision last week to withhold the shipment, which included controversial 2,000-pound bombs that have been involved in mass casualty events in Gaza.


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