Israel Asks U.S. for $10 Billion in Military Aid

Originally published October 17, 2023 2:05 pm PDT

Amid escalating tensions with Gaza, Israel has formally approached the United States with a request for $10 billion in emergency assistance.

The request follows last month’s revelation that America’s gross national debt has for the first time exceeded $33 trillion.

It also follows the U.S. sending Ukraine another $1.15 billion in budgetary aid.

Despite the country’s massive debt and foreign monetary commitments, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the United States can “absolutely” afford to financially support both Israel and Ukraine in their respective war efforts.

In the backdrop of Israel’s new appeal, discussions have been initiated within the Biden administration, in collaboration with congressional members, to potentially curate an even larger combined aid package.

The comprehensive package is believed to cater not only to Israel but also to Ukraine and Taiwan.

However, specifics regarding the distribution within the proposed package remain unclear.

During his recent trip to Tel Aviv, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer shed light on possible components of the aid to Israel.

He revealed that “lawmakers had discussed supplying Israel with new and replacement ammunition, precision-guided bombs, and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits.”

These kits transform standard munitions into more accurate weapons.

Sen. Schumer is funded by weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin, according to

Parallel to these developments, the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul (R-TX), brought to light the crafting of a piece of legislation titled “Authorization of Use for Military Force.”

The intent behind this bill seems to be a potential response to the increasing regional conflicts.

McCaul, when asked about the White House’s viewpoint on the matter, commented, “I don’t want to confirm that. It’s just that there is concern that—we, I’m currently, we’re currently drafting one in the event it’s necessary.”

Detailing the potential beneficiaries of this legislation, McCaul stated, “I’d prefer not to put Iran as a nation-state in there. It would be more Iran proxies, you know, like Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran-backed Shi’ia militias, but if Iran gets directly involved, then we would have to put them on the list.”

Nevertheless, Rep. McCaul expressed a hope that the situation doesn’t escalate to necessitate its enactment, saying, “I hope I never have to mark this bill up.”

Top contributors to McCaul’s political campaign include weapons manufacturers Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Honeywell.

Israel’s appeal for aid and the associated discussions stem from the recent eruption of conflict between Israel and Hamas on October 7.

Following rocket attacks and border breaches by Hamas, which resulted in the loss of around 1,400 lives, the Israel Defense Forces retaliated with intense airstrikes on Gaza.

Within a 10-day span, these strikes are believed to have claimed over 2,800 Palestinian lives.

Hamas pointed to Israel’s control of the West Bank, acquired in the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, recent incursions by Israeli police into the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and the imprisonment of numerous Palestinians in Israeli facilities as justifications for their actions.

In a televised address last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu detailed atrocities that took place during the militant group’s attack.

“We saw boys and girls bound, who were shot in the head. Men and women burned alive. Young women who were raped and slaughtered. Soldiers who were beheaded,” he said.

On Tuesday, at least 500 people were reportedly killed by an Israeli airstrike on a Baptist hospital in Gaza City.

“The Palestinian Health Ministry said the number of casualties was expected to rise,” The New York Times reported. “Many civilians were sheltering at Al Ahli Arab Hospital, better known as Al-Ma’amadani, before it was hit.”

Established in 1882, the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City was initially founded by the Church Mission Society of the Church of England.

Its management transitioned to the Medical Mission of the Southern Baptist Church from 1954 to 1982.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) denied responsibility for the hospital explosion, claiming that Palestinian Islamic Jihad was responsible for firing an errant rocket that struck the hospital.

However, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and now Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, have blamed Israel for the bombing, according to The Times of Israel.

Editor’s Note (October 18, 2023): During a Wednesday meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Joe Biden offered an assessment that the deadly explosion at the Gaza Strip hospital was not carried out by the Israeli military.

“Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” Biden said, referring to Hamas.

However, he acknowledged that there were “a lot of people out there” who weren’t sure what caused the blast.

One of those people is Fawzi Barhoum, a representative of the Palestinian Hamas movement, who promised on Wednesday to provide “evidence” of Israel’s involvement in the strike, according to Newsweek.

“There is a lot of evidence, eyewitnesses, and videos from Hamas about the occupation committing the Baptist Hospital massacre and the wreckage of rockets,” he said. “Hamas will publish all the evidence to the world that confirms this massacre was committed intentionally, and will present it to international jurisdictions.”

“The Baptist Hospital massacre was committed with Israeli guided missiles and came hours after the Israeli Shin Bet contacted hospital officials more than once, and threatened to bomb the hospital,” Barhoum added.