Biden signs war aid bill supplying Israel, Ukraine with more weapons

US President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House on April 24, 2024 in Washington, DC. (AFP)

US President Joe Biden has signed into law legislation that authorizes billions of dollars in war assistance to Israel and Ukraine.

Biden signed the law on Wednesday immediately after it was passed by the Senate.

The aid package, worth $95 billion in total, includes nearly $26 billion in aid for Israel, $61 billion to Ukraine, and $8 billion for what he calls security in Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific.

“We rose to the moment, we came together, and we got it done,” Biden said at White House event to announce the signing. “Now we need to move fast, and we are,” Biden said.

He said the aid package “gives vital support to America's partners so they can defend themselves from threats to their sovereignty.”

Biden said he is "making sure the shipments start right away, in the next few hours."

He was quick to approve sending Ukraine $1 billion in military assistance and said the shipment would begin arriving in the “next few hours.”

The first tranche from about $61 billion allocated for Kiev includes air defense munitions, artillery rounds, ammunition for HIMARS precision rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons and armored vehicles.

The bill is said to have included about $1 billion in humanitarian relief for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Biden said Israel must ensure the humanitarian aid for Palestinians in bill reaches the besieged territory “without delay.”

Biden had spent months lobbying House Speaker Mike Johnson to move forward with the aid bill that was only passed by the senate late Tuesday evening.

Some of the Democrats who voted against the bill cited the aid package for Israel as the reason.

Among the senators who voted against the bill was Senator Bernie Sanders, who told Biden earlier this week that he was against further US funding of Israel’s brutal war in Gaza.

“Enough is enough,” Sanders said in a post on X, shortly after the bill’s passage in the House.

“No more money for [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s war machine.”

Biden, however, has poured more than 10,000 tons of military hardware into the regime's war machine, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip since early October.

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