Biden Moves to Lift Restrictions on Israel’s Access to US Weapons Stockpile

A former State Department official said easing the restriction would 'essentially create a free-flowing pipeline' of weapons to Israel

President Biden is looking to remove restrictions on Israel’s access to weapons and ammunition stored in a US stockpile located in Israel, The Intercept reported on Saturday.

The US military maintains a reserve stockpile of arms in Israel known as the War Reserve Stockpile Allies-Israel (WRSA-I). Israel has been granted access to the WRSA-I during previous conflicts under a set of rules that the White House now wants to eliminate.

The White House included the lifting of the restrictions in its emergency supplemental request it made to Congress on October 20 for approximately $105 billion to fund military aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

Under the current restrictions, the US can only transfer weapons and ammunition to the WRSA-I that are “obsolete or surplus.” The White House’s request would eliminate that requirement and “allow for the transfer of all categories of defense articles.”

The request would scrap the requirement for Israel to make certain “concessions” to access the stockpile by giving the Pentagon “greater flexibility in determining the value of the concessions provided in exchange for the transfers.” It would remove congressional oversight by eliminating the requirement of providing 30-day notice before a weapons transfer. The request would also do away with a $200 million annual cap on spending to replenish the WRSA-I.

Josh Paul, who recently resigned from the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs over Biden’s support for Israel’s Gaza onslaught, told The Intercept that lifting the restrictions would “essentially create a free-flowing pipeline to provide any defense articles to Israel by the simple act of placing them in the WRSA-I stockpile, or other stockpiles intended for Israel.”

Paul also said doing away with the restrictions could impact the US military’s readiness. “By dropping the requirement that such articles be declared excess, it would also increase the existing strain on US military readiness in order to provide more arms to Israel,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.