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Biden Approved Bomb Sale to Israeli Military on Same Day It Killed Aid Workers

The sale approval came just after Israeli forces finished their total destruction of Al-Shifa Hospital.

A Palestinian checks a damaged vehicle after Israeli strikes in central Gaza Strip city of Deir el-Balah, on April 2, 2024.

On the same day as Israeli forces carried out a hugely controversial and horrific killing of seven international aid workers for food charity World Central Kitchen in Gaza, the Biden administration approved yet another transfer of thousands of bombs to Israel, new reporting reveals, undermining U.S. officials’ public statements lamenting the workers’ killings.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that sources within the Biden administration say officials rubber stamped the bomb sale on Monday. A State Department official told the outlet that it was approved before the aid worker killing, but officials have not reversed the approval, despite having the ability to do so at any time before the shipment is delivered.

The sale reportedly includes several thousand bombs, including over 1,000 MK-82 500-pound bombs, over 1,000 small-diameter bombs, and fuses for MK-80 bombs, a category of “general purpose” bombs that can include munitions of up to 2,000 pounds.

The small-diameter bombs approved in the sale are at least “comparable,” if not identical, to the type of munition that struck the aid convoy, former State Department weapons transfer expert Josh Paul told the Washington Post. It’s currently unclear what exact type of munition was used to kill the aid workers, who Israeli forces killed using three separate drone strikes. Israel is already the largest single recipient of U.S. foreign military assistance.

The weapons transfer approval stands despite reports that Israeli forces deliberately targeted the aid convoy carrying the workers, including a U.S.-Canadian dual citizen.

An investigation this week by Al Jazeera’s Sanad Verification Agency found that the attack on the three vehicles carrying the workers was “intentional,” with analysis of satellite imagery, geographical and chronological information, pictures of the aftermath of the attack and witness testimony. A similar CNN analysis also showed that the strikes were intentional.

According to Al Jazeera’s analysis, the first strike hit a vehicle, which caught on fire and was completely destroyed; a witness told Al Jazeera that injured people were then transported to a second car, which was bombed about half a mile away from the first vehicle, with pictures showing the bomb striking cleanly on the World Central Kitchen logo on the vehicle’s roof. The third car was struck nearly a mile away.

World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés has also said that the strikes were “systematically” done and carried out deliberately to attack the aid workers. World Central Kitchen has called for an independent investigation into the killings; U.S. officials have only called for Israel to internally investigate the strikes, for which Israeli officials have already cleared themselves of wrongdoing, saying the strikes were “unintentional.”

The sale severely undermines President Joe Biden’s supposed concern over the killings. It remains approved despite Biden’s statements supposedly condemning the strikes even as he continues to provide Israel with a steady flow of the very weaponry Israeli forces are likely using to carry out similar killings.

In a statement on Tuesday, Biden said he was “outraged and heartbroken” by the death of the workers, and even acknowledged Israel’s relentless killing of hundreds of aid workers just over the past six months. But the statement failed to take any responsibility for the U.S.’s staunch sponsorship of Israel’s genocide, even though the arms sale is just one of over 100 weapons shipments that the U.S. has sent to Israel since October, as another Washington Post report found last month.