Top White House officials are reportedly considering the inclusion of additional funding for Ukraine in an emergency aid package for Israel. This move is seen as a strategy to pressure “far-right” lawmakers to support extra aid for Kiev.
After Palestinian militants launched a surprise attack on Israel over the weekend, President Joe Biden announced that military assistance was already on its way to Israel. However, the White House has signaled that it will seek congressional approval for further aid to the country.
Sources speaking to various news outlets, including the Washington Post and NBC News, have suggested that the aid package for Israel may also include provisions for Ukraine. While no final decision has been made, one anonymous official stated that linking the two aid packages would be a wise move to challenge Republicans who support Israel but are skeptical about assistance to Ukraine. White House spokesman John Kirby has refrained from confirming the linkage but emphasized the importance of both aid packages.
Although the debate over this aid is expected to be contentious, the Pentagon has asserted that it has enough weapons to support all US partners, including Ukraine and Israel. During a background briefing on Monday, a senior defense official assured that Washington can continue its support to both countries while maintaining its global readiness. The official also highlighted that every request from Israeli counterparts has been met.
Israel has been a major recipient of US foreign aid, receiving $3.3 billion in 2022 alone, according to US government statistics. Ukraine has also become a significant beneficiary since the conflict with Russia escalated in February 2022, with the White House approving at least $45 billion in direct military aid through 47 separate transfers.
Interestingly, both Republicans and Democrats have expressed strong support for Israel following the deadly Hamas attack on Saturday. This attack has resulted in harsh retaliation from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and an intense bombing campaign on Gaza. The conflict has tragically claimed the lives of over 1,500 people on both sides, while Palestinian fighters claim to have captured more than 100 Israeli and foreign hostages during their raids.
Due to the escalation, thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have been forced to evacuate their homes. The IDF has also mobilized 300,000 reservists as it prepares for a larger conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared a state of “war” and stated that the military response is just beginning.
In conclusion, the potential inclusion of additional Ukraine funding in an emergency aid package for Israel is under consideration by White House officials. This move aims to exert pressure on certain lawmakers and ensure support for both countries. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has heightened the urgency for aid, and Congress will ultimately decide on the allocation of resources to address the needs of both nations.