Ron DeSantis’ recent claims of sending military equipment to Israel is receiving pushback from Israeli and domestic officials according to a report from The Guardian.
DeSantis had announced on Thursday that he had consulted with Israel’s consul general in Miami to send a variety of military equipment to its troops in support of Israel’s “rescue operation” in Gaza. This is a part of the Republican presidential candidate’s many efforts to galvanize more support for Israel.
DeSantis’ press secretary, Jeremy Redfern, wrote the process in collaboration with the Israeli Consul General statement to Reuters.
“At the request of the Israeli Consul General in Miami, cargo planes contracted by Florida were used to transport healthcare and hospital supplies, drones, body armor, and helmets that first responders can use,” wrote Redfern. “We also worked with the Consul General to help get weapons and ammunition to Israel through private parties.”
Unfortunately for DeSantis, Israel’s consul general Maor Elbaz-Starinsky was among the many who called out the candidate’s claim, denying ever receiving weapons from DeSantis.
“I am not aware and would find it very, very bizarre to think that somebody is procuring weapons and sending it to Israel,” said Elbaz-Starinsky. “This is not how we work. And certainly not privately funded.”
Elbaz-Starinsky elaborated in a statement to the Miami Herald, remaining uncertain on whether any transactions made through the Department of Commerce.
“It was really the first days of the war, everyone was panicked and stressed, everything was urgent,” he said. “I approached a few contacts, including the governor’s office, to get the final approval. It went through all the process. I’m not even sure, at the end of the day, which one untangled this thing and made the shipment be approved.”
White House spokesperson John Kirby commented on the situation from the White House that Thursday.
“It is not illegal for the governor of a state to offer a measure of foreign assistance to another country but there are laws and regulations which govern how the export process is handled,” said Kirby. “There are laws and regulations which govern how the export process is handled. And that’s all done through commerce couldn’t speak with authority today about whether the governor has checked all those boxes or not.
DeSantis’ office has yet to comment fully on the situation.