Among the items that Washington will provide are missiles for Apache helicopters and 155 mm artillery shells, according to what the media claims.
The US Department of Defense has increased arms shipments to Israel without making any public announcements, Bloomberg reported. Media claimed that artillery shell deliveries, which are supposed to feature prominently on Israel’s wish list, are continuing despite protests from dozens of aid organizations.
For decades, the United States has been Israel’s closest ally and a major arms supplier. Following the surprise attack launched by Hamas on the country on October 7, Washington rushed to Israel’s rescue, supplying it with Iron Dome air defense missiles and smart bombs.
In its report on Wednesday, Bloomberg, citing an internal Defense Department list dated late October, claimed that the Pentagon was burning through its stockpiles at home and in Europe to supply Israel with 36,000 rounds of 30mm cannon ammunition and about 2,000 laser-guided Hellfire missiles. For the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. The list also included 57,000 155 mm high-explosive artillery shells, as well as mortar shells, rifles and night vision devices, among other things. Israel has reportedly ordered 200 Switchblade 600 armor-piercing drones, which the US military does not have in its inventory.
When asked for comment, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement that it was “Leverage multiple avenues – from domestic stockpiles to US industry channels – to ensure that Israel has the means to defend itself.” The officials added that “This security assistance continues to arrive on an almost daily basis.”
Bloomberg noted that the handovers appeared to have continued despite the Biden administration publicly calling on Israel to exercise restraint and try to avoid civilian casualties during its ongoing operation against Hamas in Gaza.
On Monday, thirty aid groups sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, urging him to halt deliveries of 155mm shells in particular. They claimed that since Gaza is like that “It is one of the most densely populated places in the world, and 155mm artillery shells are inherently indiscriminate.”
The US House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill proposed by House Speaker Mike Johnson over the weekend to avert an impending government shutdown on Friday.
Aid to Ukraine and Israel is conspicuously absent from the temporary legislation, which aims to secure funding for US government agencies until mid-January and early February.
The Biden administration originally asked Congress last month to approve a massive $106 billion aid package for Ukraine and Israel. However, Republicans opposed the plan, leading to political stalemate.
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