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Washington reportedly greenlights transfer of 25 F-35 jets, over 2,000 bombs to Israel

United States Air Force aircraft in a flyover to commemorate Israel’s 75th Independence Day (Photo: IDF)

The Washington Post reported on Friday that the Biden administration has greenlighted the transfer of additional military equipment worth billions of dollars to Israel amid the ongoing war with the terrorist organization Hamas.

The package reportedly includes an additional 25 fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets for the Israeli Air Force (IAF), as well as over 2,000 bombs of various calibers, including MK-82 500-lb and MK-84 2,000-lb bombs.

An unnamed White House official told The Washington Post that the United States continues to back Israel’s right to defend itself against aggression.

“We have continued to support Israel’s right to defend itself,” the White House official stated. “Conditioning aid has not been our policy.”

Some lawmakers belonging to the Democratic Party's progressive wing and American Arab organizations have pressured the Biden administration to curb, or at least condition, the military supplies to Israel however, U.S. President Joe Biden, who considers himself a Zionist, has so far refused to do so.

In an October interview, Biden stated that Israel should eliminate Hamas but not reoccupy the Gaza Strip, which is the prevalent view in Jerusalem.

While the Biden administration supports Israel’s right to defend itself, it has increasingly expressed concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Earlier in March, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant signed a document on behalf of Israel that IDF forces use American weapons in compliance with international law, which Washington recently confirmed.

“We’ve had ongoing assessments of Israel’s compliance with international humanitarian law. We have not found them to be in violation, either when it comes to the conduct of the war or the provision of humanitarian assistance. We view those assurances through that ongoing work we have done,” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller told media representatives.

Israel, as a close U.S. ally, receives $3.8 billion in annual military assistance. The vast majority of this amount is earmarked to purchase American-made weapons systems that support thousands of jobs in the U.S. defense industry. Over the years, senior U.S. officials have argued that a militarily strong Israel serves U.S. national security interests in the Middle East and reduces the need to deploy large numbers of U.S. troops to the region.

America's latest military shipments are not only meant for use in the ongoing Gaza War but also to boost Israel’s strategic military capabilities against its main foe, the Islamic State of Iran, which has waged a long-term terror proxy war against the Jewish state, the United States and the West.

The IAF declared its F-35 fighter jet fleet operational in December 2017. In July 2023, the Israeli government decided to expand the Israeli F-35 fleet from 50 to eventually 75 planes. This has now also been approved by Washington.

Last year, the CEO of Lockheed Martin-Israel, Joshua Shani, stressed that the F-35 jets remain a critical component in Israel’s national security.

“The Israeli Air Force has proven its capabilities in critical operations with the 116th and 140th squadrons, and we are looking forward to building on this strong performance," Shani assessed.

“With a combination of stealth, sensor fusion and electronic warfare, the fifth-generation F-35 will ensure the Israeli Air Force stays ahead of current and evolving threats to protect its borders and citizens for decades to come,” he added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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