US government signs $3.1bln arms deal with Israel
The Biden administration has continued providing Israel with weapons despite the human rights abuses committed against Palestinian citizens
By News Desk - December 31 2021

A Boeing KC-46 Pegasus refueling a fighter jet. (Photo credit: US Air Force)

On 31 December, the Israeli government announced it has reached an $3.1 billion deal with the US to purchase fighter jets and military helicopters.

According to a press statement issued by the Israeli ministry of military affairs, the country will buy two KC-46 refueling planes from Boeing and 12 CH-53K helicopters from Lockheed Martin Corp.

The statement also said that the refueling jets are set to be delivered before the end of 2025 while the helicopters are expected to be delivered in 2026.

The ministry added that the deal has an option that would allow Tel Aviv to purchase six more helicopters after the delivery of the first set.

The deal was approved by the Biden administration in July, despite opposition from some members of congress from his own party who argued that, instead of providing Israel with more weapons, Washington should be taking a stronger stance against Tel Aviv for its continued violence against Palestinians.

On 13 December, an Israeli media outlet reported that the US government had turned down a request by the Israeli occupation to reduce the delivery period for the refueling planes from the agreed four years to two years. The request was reportedly made by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz during a visit to the US on 8 December.

Some Israeli media outlets speculated that Tel Aviv tried to fast track the delivery of the refueling aircraft because it was planning on using them during a planned attack on Iran. During his visit to Washington, Gantz revealed that Israel was considering attacking Iran ”if diplomacy fails.”

Tehran has however warned that it is capable of defending itself from any aggressor from the within the region or outside.

On 25 December, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned that ”any hostile action by the enemies will face a comprehensive and decisive response from the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and will change the strategic equation in a meaningful way.”

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