US President Joe Biden’s administration has reportedly given clearance for the potential sale of precision-guided weapons to Israel for an estimated cost of $735m.
The proposed sale is of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMS), which are kits designed to convert unguided or “dumb” bombs into precision-guided missiles.
The sale has been notified to Congress, which now has a 15-day window to review it, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the development.
The approval has been given before the Israel-Hamas conflict started on 10 May, reported the publication. The official notification of the sale is said to have been made on 5 May.
The White House said that President Biden ‘reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks’ and ‘expressed his support for a ceasefire’.
In February, Israeli ministerial reportedly gave clearance to procure new F-35 jets, KC-46 refuelling aircraft and munitions from the US.
Last year, US Congress was notified about a $2.4bn potential sale of up to eight KC-46 aerial refuelling aircraft to Israel.
Responding to the proposed arms sale to Israel, Representative Ilhan Omar said: “The United States should not stand idly by while crimes against humanity are being committed with our backing.
“It would be appalling for the Biden administration to go through with $735m in precision-guided weaponry to Netanyahu without any strings attached in the wake of escalating violence and attacks on civilians.
“If this goes through this will be seen as a green light for continued escalation and will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire.”