International

Blinken Defends Emergency Sale Of Tank Ammunition To Israel Amid Gaza Conflict

Secretary of State Antony Blinken defends the emergency sale of tank ammunition to Israel, citing the ongoing conflict with Hamas, and calls for swift congressional approval of over $100 billion in aid for Israel, Ukraine, and other critical national security priorities.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken has defended the emergency sale of nearly 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition to Israel, asserting that the ongoing military operations against Hamas in Gaza justify the rare decision to bypass congressional approval. Blinken emphasized the urgency of supporting Israel's defense needs during television interviews, stating, "Israel is in combat right now with Hamas, and we want to make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself," as reported by AP

While the tank ammunition and related support represent only a fraction of military sales to Israel, Blinken stressed that the remainder is subject to congressional review. He highlighted the importance of congressional input, stating, "It's very important that Congress's voice be heard in this."

The decision to proceed with the sale, totaling over $106 million for tank shells, comes at a time when the broader aid package of more than $100 billion is entangled in a debate over U.S. immigration policy and border security. Blinken acknowledged President Joe Biden's willingness to make significant compromises to advance the aid package, stating, "It's something the president is fully prepared to engage on."

Secretary Blinken underscored the critical situation in Ukraine, expressing concern that the United States is running out of funding for Ukrainian needs. He emphasized the high stakes for Ukraine, stating, "This is a time to really step up because if we don't, we know what happens. Putin will be able to move forward with impunity, and we know he won't stop in Ukraine."

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