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2 Dec, 2023 09:58

US supplied bunker-buster bombs to Israel – WSJ

The media outlet, citing unnamed officials, claims Washington has given its ally 100 of the 2,000-pound munitions since October 7
US supplied bunker-buster bombs to Israel – WSJ

The US has supplied Israel with scores of BLU-109 bunker-buster bombs since October 7, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing anonymous officials. The media outlet pointed out that President Joe Biden’s administration has been calling on Israel to exercise restraint in its military operation in Gaza while keeping mum on its arms deliveries to the nation in the Middle East.

A similar report appeared in Bloomberg last month, alleging that Washington was forced to dip into its stocks at home and in Europe to shore up Israel. The publication also pointed out that the US had not disclosed the supposed weapons shipments publicly.

In its article on Friday, the WSJ claimed that since hostilities broke out following Hamas’ deadly incursion in early October, the US has shipped approximately 15,000 bombs, including 100 of its 2,000-pound bunker buster bombs. These are designed to penetrate concrete shelters and were deployed by the American military during the Gulf and Afghan wars.

According to the media outlet, Israel most likely needs this type of bomb to destroy Hamas’ extensive network of underground tunnels, which the militant group is believed to have built underneath apartment blocks and civilian infrastructure.

The WSJ quoted an unnamed US official as saying that a US-supplied large-payload bomb was used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in its strike on an apartment block in Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp, which is believed to have claimed more than 100 lives. Israeli military officials reported at the time that a senior Hamas military commander had been killed in the attack.

Also among the munitions allegedly provided by the US to Israel are small diameter and unguided bombs as well as 3,000 JDAMs kits to convert the latter into ‘smart’ bombs.’ On top of that, the US reportedly provided its ally with roughly 57,000 units of 155mm artillery rounds, whose stocks had already been stretched thin by Ukraine’s demands before October 7, the WSJ pointed out.

The article noted that Washington has, to date, not disclosed the quantity and type of weaponry it has airlifted to Israel since the start of the conflict. Meanwhile, publicly, the Biden administration is urging its ally to better protect the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza, with the latest such exhortations made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Dubai on Friday.

The US has for decades been Israel’s closest ally and a significant arms supplier.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry’s estimate, Israel’s military operation in the Palestinian enclave, which resumed on Friday, has already left more than 15,000 dead, including thousands of children.