US Approved More Bombs to Israel on Day of World Central Kitchen Strikes

US Approved More Bombs to Israel on Day of World Central Kitchen Strikes

By John Hudson

April 4, 2024  Washington Post


The Biden administration approved the transfer of thousands more bombs to Israel on the same day Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed seven aid workers for the charity group World Central Kitchen, three U.S. officials told The Washington Post this week after the incident elicited global condemnation.

The transaction demonstrates the administration’s determination to continue its flow of lethal weaponry to Israel despite Monday’s high-profile killings and growing calls for the United States to condition such support on greater protection for civilians in the war zone. A U.S. citizen was among the dead.

The move also casts new light on the emotional statement by President Biden that he was “outraged and heartbroken” by the tragedy and was insistent that such events never happen again.

“They were providing food to hungry civilians in the middle of a war,” Biden said. “They were brave and selfless.”

The White House declined to comment for this article.

The Israeli government confirmed it carried out Monday’s strike but called it “unintentional,” saying the military would conduct a “transparent” investigation and make the results public.

The State Department approved the transfer of more than 1,000 MK82 500-pound bombs, more than 1,000 small-diameter bombs, and fuses for MK80 bombs, all from authorizations granted by Congress several years before the latest hostilities between Israel and Hamas began, said the U.S. officials, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive arms deals.

A State Department spokesperson confirmed the approval and said it occurred sometime “prior” to when the Israeli aircraft struck the aid convoy.

The U.S. government has the authority to suspend an arms package anytime before delivery, which the spokesperson said probably would not occur until 2025 or later. It has not done so in this case.

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