Fake US government memo authorising $8 billion of aid for Israel circulates on Facebook

13 October 2023
What was claimed

A memo shows President Joe Biden authorised $8 billion worth of aid for Israel on 7 October.

Our verdict

The memo this claim is based on is fake. It appears to be an edited version of one published earlier this year approving $2.5 billion worth of aid for Ukraine.

An apparent US government memo approving $8 billion worth of aid to Israel is fake.

A screenshot shared on Facebook shows a Presidential memo dated “October 07, 2023” which reads, in part “I hereby delegate the Secretary of State the authority under section 506(1)(a) 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”.

No such memo appears on the White House website, where Presidential actions are published, or on archived versions of the website from 7 October.

NBC News has reported that a White House representative has confirmed the document circulating online is fake, with Reuters Fact Check also reporting that it is fake.

The screenshot instead appears to be an edited version of a memo published earlier this year, which directs $2.5 billion worth of defence assistance to Ukraine.

Israel receives around $3 billion of foreign assistance each year from the US, almost all of which is military aid. Prior to the war in Ukraine it was the largest overall recipient of US foreign assistance.

Following Hamas’s attacks on Israel on Saturday, 7 October, President Joe Biden said the US was “surging additional military assistance, including ammunition and interceptors to replenish Iron Dome” to Israel.

We’ve fact checked various false claims circulating on social media about Israel and Gaza, including misleading images and videos, which can spread widely online in the wake of major global news events.

For tips on how to verify content before you share it, you can read our guides here.

Image courtesy of the White House

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