Israeli tanks advance into areas in north and south Gaza, fighting rages

The US has sent thousands of 2,000 pound bombs to Israel since October 7th

WASHINGTON: The Biden administration has sent a large number of munitions to Israel, including more than 10,000 highly destructive 2,000-pound bombs and thousands of Hellfire rockets, since the beginning of the Gaza war, two US officials briefed on a list said updated weapons. shipments.
Between the start of the war last October and the last few days, the United States has transferred at least 14,000 2,000-pound MK-84 bombs, 6,500 500-pound bombs, 3,000 Hellfire precision-guided air-to-surface missiles, 1,000 of bunker-busters. bombs, 2,600 small-diameter bombs blown up and other munitions, according to the officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly.
Although officials did not give a timeline for the shipments, the totals suggest there has been no significant drop in U.S. military support for its ally, despite international calls to limit arms shipments and the administration’s recent decision to cut off a shipment of strong. bombs.
Experts said the contents of the shipments appeared consistent with what Israel would need to replenish supplies used in its intense eight-month military campaign in Gaza, which it launched after an October 7 attack by Hamas that killed 1,200 of people and took hostage another 250. according to Israeli calculations.
“While these numbers could be spent relatively quickly in a major conflict, this list clearly reflects a substantial level of support by the United States for our Israeli allies,” said Tom Karako, an arms expert at the Center for Strategic Studies and International, adding that the munitions listed were the type Israel would use in its fight against Hamas or in a potential conflict with Hezbollah.
The delivery numbers, which have not been previously reported, provide the most up-to-date and extensive count of ammunition shipped to Israel since the start of the Gaza war.
Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah have exchanged fire since the start of the Gaza war, and concerns are growing that an all-out war could break out between the two sides.
The White House declined to comment. Israel’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The shipments are part of a larger list of weapons sent to Israel since the start of the Gaza conflict, one of the US officials said. A senior Biden administration official told reporters Wednesday that since Oct. 7, Washington has sent $6.5 billion in security assistance to Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed in recent weeks that Washington is withholding weapons, a suggestion US officials have repeatedly denied, although they have acknowledged some “bottlenecks”.
The Biden administration halted a shipment of the 2,000-pound bomb, citing concerns about the impact it could have on densely populated areas of Gaza, but U.S. officials insist all other arms shipments are continuing as normal. A 2,000-pound bomb can shatter thick concrete and metal, creating a wide blast radius.
Reuters reported on Thursday that the United States is discussing with Israel the release of a shipment of large bombs that was suspended in May due to concerns over the military operation in Rafah.
International scrutiny of Israel’s military operation in Gaza has intensified as the number of Palestinians killed in the war has topped 37,000, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, and left the coastal enclave in ruins.
Washington provides $3.8 billion in annual military assistance to its longtime ally. While Biden has warned that he will put conditions on military aid if Israel fails to protect civilians and allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza, he has done so only to delay the May shipment.
Biden’s support for Israel in its war against Hamas has emerged as a political liability, particularly among young Democrats, as he runs for re-election this year. It fueled a wave of “non-committed” protest votes in primaries and sparked pro-Palestinian protests at US universities.
While the United States provides detailed descriptions and amounts of military aid sent to Ukraine as it fights a full-scale invasion by Russia, the administration has revealed few details about the full extent of American weapons and ammunition sent to Israel.
The shipments are also difficult to track because some of the weapons are being shipped as part of arms sales approved by Congress years ago but only now being fulfilled.
One of the US officials said the Pentagon has sufficient quantities of weapons in its own stockpiles and has been in touch with US industrial partners that produce the weapons, such as Boeing Co. and General Dynamics as companies work to produce more.

Leave a Comment