Israel spends $647 million to load up on US munitions following Gaza war
The Pentagon has approved a deal to supply 6,900 precision bomb kits to replenish Israel’s weapons stockpiles, diminished by the recent war against Hamas in Gaza. The contract is valued at $647 million.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the Pentagon said in a statement. The deal is expected to sail through formal approval by legislators.The Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions are complex electronic guidance devices fitted onto missiles to make them vastly more accurate. Precision air-strikes were the main tactic employed by Israel during the 8-day attack on Gaza last month.10,000 explosive charges are also part of the contract. Of these, 3,450 are one ton bombs, 1725 bombs weighing 250 kilograms with the rest being BLU-109 and GBU-39 bunker busters.The Gaza bombardment, which Israel says it started in response to more than 2,000 Palestinian rockets launched this year, has been costly for both sides.Palestinian authorities said that the cost of 120 buildings destroyed and 8,000 damaged buildings amounted to $1.2 billion. Meanwhile, military operation Pillar of Defense cost Israel around $760 million. Officials estimate the conflict also indirectly cost the country $1.8 billion in lost tourist revenues.More than 180 Palestinians were killed in the conflict and six Israelis.