US President Joe Biden will  deliver the keynote address at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's annual Days of Remembrance ceremony at the US Capitol
US President Joe Biden IBTimes US

The Biden administration is planning to send additional arms and ammunition worth more than $1 billion to Israel, according to congressional aides familiar with the matter.

The notification to top lawmakers, first reported by Wall Street Journal, was sent to the relevant committees in the House and Senate as part of a "tiered review" process. This step takes place before the formal notification of Congress, allowing for preliminary discussions and assessments before any official actions are taken.

If approved, this will be the first arms shipment to Israel since the White House paused a transfer of 3,500 bombs last week due to concerns for civilian casualties in southern Gaza city of Rafah.

The decision to temporarily stop the 2,000-pound bombs was criticized by the pro-Israel donors in the Democratic Party.

Two officials said the new shipment is not part of the delayed package, which President Joe Biden signed last month. The package plan was revealed by congressional aides who spoke on condition of anonymity.

They have reportedly been informed that the Biden administration is planning to send $700 million for tank ammunition, $500 million in tactical vehicles and $60 million in mortar rounds. It is not revealed when the shipment would be sent.

Critics argue that advancing the latest arms packages signals to Israeli leaders that they can ignore warnings about actions like invading Rafah without concern for future U.S support.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a White House ally, criticized the decision, saying: "We should not be proceeding with any additional offensive arms transfers until the United States receives clear assurances from the Netanyahu government that the president's concerns regarding Rafah have been addressed and his demands for the delivery of humanitarian assistance have been met.

"This move undercuts the president's earlier decision and should not go forward."

Biden has faced criticism from both sides of the political spectrum with one group accusing him of supporting the military action, while the other group slamming him for halting shipment to Israel—all at a time when he is looking to be reelected as the U.S. president.

Republican lawmakers have criticized the Biden administration's decision to pause bomb transfers to Israel, arguing that any reduction in U.S. support for Israel—America's closest ally in the Middle East—undermines the country as it battles Hamas and other Iran-backed terror groups.

In response, House Republicans are planning to advance a bill this week that would mandate the delivery of weapons to Israel.