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A document claiming to show President Joe Biden authorizing the drawdown of $8 billion worth of military aid to Israel is altered.
The real memo was posted on the White House website in July, and it showed a drawdown of up to $400 million to provide assistance to Ukraine.
After Hamas launched attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, social media users circulated a document they said showed the U.S. immediately coming to Israel’s aid.
"The U.S. is sending $8B worth of military aid to Israel," read the text in an Oct. 7 TikTok video.
The video showed a screenshot of a supposed White House memorandum dated Oct. 7, titled, "Memorandum on the Delegation of Authority Under Section 506(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961."
The screenshot read:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 621 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), I hereby delegate to the Secretary of State the authority under section 506(a)(1) of the FAA to direct the drawdown of up to $8 billion in defense articles and services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training, to provide assistance to Israel and to make the determinations required under such section to direct such a drawdown.
(Screengrab from TikTok)
This claim was amplified in other social media posts, including an Oct. 8 Instagram post that misspelled Israel and read, "US reportedly plans to give Isarel 8 billion dollars in military aid."
This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
This is an altered photo. A memo with the same title and nearly identical text was published on the White House website, but it was dated July 25, and it authorized the drawdown of up to $400 million to aid Ukraine, not $8 billion to aid Israel.
Sean Savett, a White House spokesperson, told PolitiFact the posts were "fake."
President Joe Biden issued a statement Oct. 7 condemning Hamas’ attacks in Israel, saying he made clear to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "We stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel."
An Oct. 8 readout of a call between Biden and Netanyahu says that Biden told Netanyahu that additional assistance for the Israeli Defense Forces is "now on its way to Israel with more to follow over the coming days."
The U.S. is sending multiple military ships and aircraft closer to Israel and will supply the Israel Defense Forces with munitions, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. An Oct. 10 readout of another call between Biden and Netanyahu showed Biden said U.S. support is being sent in "ammunition, Iron Dome interceptors, the world’s largest aircraft carrier, and other defense materiel."
Additional U.S. aid requires congressional approval, which could hit obstacles as the House seeks to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as speaker.
But the memorandum authorizing the drawdown of $8 billion to Israel is fake. We rate this claim False.
UPDATE, Oct. 12, 2023: This story was updated to include a comment from the White House.
The White House, Memorandum on the Delegation of Authority Under Section 506(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, July 25, 2023
The White House, Statement from President Joe Biden Condemning Terrorist Attacks in Israel, Oct. 7, 2023
The White House, Readout of President Biden’s Call with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, Oct. 8, 2023
The White House, Remarks by President Biden on the Terrorist Attacks in Israel, Oct. 10, 2023
The Associated Press, Biden hasn’t signed a recent order sending $8B in aid to Israel. A ‘memo’ circulating online was altered, Oct. 9, 2023
U.S. Defense Department, Statement From Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on U.S. Force Posture Changes in the Middle East, Oct. 8, 2023
Reuters, US to send military ships, aircraft closer to Israel, Oct. 9, 2023
Axios, Biden tells Netanyahu military aid "now on its way" to Israel with more to come, Oct. 8, 2023
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