Dr Mike Evans

US considers $18 billion arms deals with Israel

The Biden administration is considering a significant $18 billion arms transfer to Israel, which would involve the sale of numerous F-15 aircraft and munitions, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter, Newsmax reported Monday.

The sale of 25 F-15s from Boeing to Israel has been under review since January 2023, one of the sources disclosed.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, during his recent visit to Washington, emphasized the urgency of accelerating the delivery of the aircraft. He held discussions with key U.S. officials, including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, approved the sale on Jan. 30, according to a committee aide. However, some necessary approvals from congressional offices are still pending.

Under U.S. law, Congress must be informed of major foreign military sales agreements, and a preliminary review process involves leaders from both Democratic and Republican foreign affairs committees.

The proposed package comprises a significant number of F-15 aircraft, munitions, and various support services, including training and maintenance, spanning over several years.

Sources indicate that the Biden administration has voiced support for Israel’s request for F-15s.

While Washington has expressed concern about Israel’s potential military actions in Rafah, the Gaza Strip’s southern city, no conditions have been set for arms transfers, despite criticism from U.S. officials regarding civilian casualties.

During his visit to Washington, Gallant emphasized the importance of maintaining Israel’s military superiority in the region, particularly in air capabilities.

Despite the ongoing discussions and approvals, the State Department has yet to provide a comment on the matter. This potential arms transfer underscores the enduring relationship between the United States and Israel, with Washington consistently providing substantial military assistance to its ally, totaling $3.8 billion annually.