The US may be about to deliver 1,000 bombs to Israel
Smoke rises after the Israeli air force raided the city of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip on February 14. Photo: AFP

US officials said the country is about to transfer 1,000 bombs and related supplies to Israel to replenish its arsenal.

The proposed batch of weapons worth tens of millions of dollars includes about 1,000 Mark 82 bombs weighing more than 220 kg each, KMU-572 accessories for precision bomb control and FMU-139 bomb detonators, officials said. US officials said on February 17.

According to a US official, the government is reviewing the above shipment, and related details may change before President Joe Biden’s administration notifies leaders of congressional committees, who will approve the shipment.

The plan to transfer weapons was made as Israel prepared to attack the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where more than a million Palestinians are taking refuge from the conflict. Israel announced that it would expand its campaign against Rafah to “erase” the Hamas battalions hiding in this city.

The Pentagon and the US State Department declined to comment on the above information. The Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to related questions.

According to US media, an assessment of the proposed weapons transfer drafted by the US embassy in Israel said that “the Israeli government proposes to quickly purchase the above items to protect the country against threats.” ongoing and emerging in the region.”

The assessment found no potential human rights concerns in this deal. ” Israel is taking effective action to prevent human rights violations and hold its security forces accountable for violations. Israel has been a transparent partner in US investigations into allegations of abuse of defense materials,” the assessment said.

A former US official said the above shipment was part of the country’s military aid to Israel. Most of the weapons Israel buys from the US come from billions of dollars in military aid from Washington to help Tel Aviv strengthen its military capabilities each year.

Precision-guided bullets are considered to allow Israel to better target the enemy, including the leadership of Hamas and the group’s underground fortifications.

The Mark 82 is not a precision bomb, but Israel can attach its guidance accessories. According to US officials, Israel used Mark 82 bombs with guidance systems in the campaign in the Gaza Strip.

The US has provided about 21,000 precision-guided munitions to Israel since the conflict between the country and Hamas broke out in early October 2023. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used about half of the above bombs.

According to US intelligence assessments, the remaining amount of bombs and ammunition is enough for Israel to maintain its campaign in the Gaza Strip for another 19 weeks. A source familiar with the matter said this amount of bombs and ammunition is only enough for a few days if Israel decides to open a second front to target the Hezbollah group in Lebanon.

US officials have increasingly expressed frustration with Israel as they seek to restrain their ally’s campaign. However, President Biden’s administration has so far ruled out the possibility of setting conditions for selling weapons to Israel to force them to change the way they carry out the campaign.

 (According to Reuters )