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Analyst 'shocked at egregious timing' of Biden extra weapons sales to apartheid Israeli regime

Palestinians look for salvageable items amid the rubble of the six-storey Kuhail building which was destroyed in an early morning Israeli airstrike on Gaza City on May 18, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The latest decision by the administration of US President Joe Biden to authorize hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional weapons sales to Israel at exactly a time when the Tel Aviv regime has been staging a bloody campaign of aerial bombardments and artillery shelling against Palestinians in Gaza, a narrow coastal strip already reeling under years of illegal blockade, has shocked many around the world, including Patrick Lawrence, journalist and commentator, who has shared his opinion on the topic with Press TV.  

“The question of Israel's dependence on American military aid has become complicated since the events of recent weeks concerning Palestine. There's no question that Israel is vitally dependent on America for the conduct of its campaign to get the Palestinians. There is no question whatsoever. With absolutely egregious timing, the Biden administration approved $735 million in additional weapons sales to Israel. This is on top of the $3.8 billion it gives Israel in military aid annually,” Patrick Lawrence, a political commentator and foreign affairs journalist, told Press TV on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said the Biden administration remains committed to providing Israel with what it needs to "defend itself," turning a blind eye to the regime’s recent indiscriminate airstrikes targeting Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

He also pointed to what he claimed to be the Biden administration's "relentless, determined, but quiet diplomacy" in the region, saying it is "what got us to where we needed to be."

On Monday, the US approved the sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel. The move once again brought to light US complicity in the apartheid regime’s crimes in the region.

The latest military package is part of a long-running project under which successive administrations in Washington have assisted and helped the Zionist regime in committing military aggression, including in the latest flare-up.

According to reports, Washington gave $3.8 billion in aid to the Israeli regime in 2020 – which was part of a long-term, annual commitment made under the administration of former president Barack Obama.

Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign assistance since World War II.

“Whether this $3.8 billion the United States gives Israel annually in military aid is sufficient, it is quite shocking that on top of that the Biden administration just authorized an additional three-quarter of a billion dollars in weapons sales. I mean, the increasing sophistication of the Israeli arsenal, the increasingly advanced weapons the apartheid regime uses against the Palestinians, especially in Gaza … I think it's probably going to prove internally costly,” he added.

Lawrence further noted that Israel’s “defense needs” are endless and therefore Washington’s military assistance to Tel Aviv is never going to stop.

“I think their defense needs are essentially bottomless, so they're never going to decrease and so I think the amount of money and aid the Israelis need is more or less forever, in all likelihood on an upward trajectory. There's always going to be a need for more. It's tragic,” he said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Lawrence talked about a new propaganda in the United States, alleging that Israel is no longer dependent on Washington and that it could defend itself given its “very vibrant domestic weapons industry”.

“This is the new narrative. It's not at all true. Not remotely true. But I think since the apartheid regime that began this latest violence against Palestine, Washington needs a story, such that Israel was put across as acting more independently of the United States than it used to,” he opined.

The United States has until now provided the Israeli regime with $146 billion in bilateral assistance and missile funding. At present, almost all US bilateral aid to the regime is in the form of military assistance, according to a report by Congressional Research Service.

Washington has over the years helped the Israeli regime develop its military infrastructure, and allowed it to purchase sophisticated equipment from the US.

Of the $3.8bn military aid the US gave to Israel in 2020, $500m was for missile systems, including investments in the Iron Dome system to intercept incoming rockets.

However, as witnessed in the latest episode, the much-hyped Iron Dome system failed to intercept the rockets fired by Palestinian resistance movements in Gaza.

The failure showed that the staggering amount of US money has proved inadequate to bolster the apartheid regime’s military capabilities, including the Iron Dome defense system, which has seen around $1.6bn US investment since 2011.

Israel unleashed the latest escalation against the coastal sliver after Gazans rose up in protest against its serious violations in the nearby occupied territory of the West Bank, especially the holy city of Jerusalm al-Quds.

The Gaza-based resistance front retaliated by launching thousands of rockets into the occupied territories.

More than 10 days of attacks killed more than 250 Palestinians in Gaza including 66 children, wounded more than 1,900 and damaged critical infrastructure and thousands of homes.

A ceasefire took hold on Friday as Israel and Hamas agreed to halt nearly two weeks of fighting.

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