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 missiles, since the start of the Gaza war, two US officials briefed on the updated weapons list said. shipments.
From the beginning of the war last October until the final days, the United States transferred at least 14,000 MK-84 2,000-pound bombs, 6,500 500-pound bombs, 3,000 Hellfire precision-guided air-to-surface missiles, 1,000 bunker bombs, 2,600 air-dropped small diameter bombs and other ammunition, according to officials who were not authorized to speak publicly.
Although officials did not give a timeline for the shipments, the totals suggest there has not been a significant drop in US military support for its ally, despite international calls to limit arms shipments and the administration’s recent decision to pause shipments of powerful bombs.
Experts say the contents of the shipments are consistent with what Israel would need to replenish the supplies used in this eight-month intensive military campaign in Gaza, launched after an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that killed 1,200 people and took 250 others hostage, according to Israeli officials. data.
“While these numbers could be used up relatively quickly in a major conflict, this list clearly reflects the significant level of support the United States has for our Israeli allies,” said Tom Caracco, an arms expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, adding that the ammunition listed is the the kind that Israel would use in its fight against Hamas or in a potential conflict with Hezbollah.
The shipment numbers, which have not been previously released, provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive tally of ammunition delivered to Israel since the start of the Gaza war.
Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah have been exchanging fire since the start of the Gaza war, and there are growing concerns that an all-out war could break out between the two sides.
The White House declined to comment. The Israeli 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 US official said. A senior Biden administration official told reporters on Wednesday that Washington has sent $6.5 billion in security aid to Israel since Oct. 7.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed in recent weeks that Washington is withholding weapons, which US officials have repeatedly denied, although they have acknowledged some “bottlenecks”.
The Biden administration has paused one shipment of the 2,000-pound bomb, citing concerns about the impact it could have on densely populated areas of Gaza, but US officials insist all other arms shipments will continue as normal. A single 2,000-pound bomb can penetrate thick concrete and metal, creating a wide blast radius.
Reuters reported on Thursday that the United States was in talks with Israel to release a shipment of large bombs that had been suspended in May amid concerns over the military operation in Rafah.
International scrutiny of Israel’s military operation in Gaza has intensified as the Palestinian death toll in the war has topped 37,000, according to Gaza’s health ministry, and left the coastal enclave in ruins.
Washington provides $3.8 billion in annual military aid to its longtime ally. Although Biden warned that he would place conditions on military aid if Israel failed to protect civilians and allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza, he did not do so except to delay the May delivery.
Biden’s support for Israel in its war against Hamas has emerged as a political liability, especially among young Democrats, as he runs for re-election this year. It fueled a wave of “uncommitted” protest votes in the primaries and led to pro-Palestinian protests at American universities.
As the United States provides detailed descriptions and amounts of military aid sent to Ukraine as it fights a full-scale invasion of Russia, the administration has revealed few details about the full extent of American weapons and ammunition sent to Israel.
Shipments are also difficult to track because some weapons are sent as part of arms sales that were approved by Congress years ago but are only now being fulfilled.
One of the US officials said that the Pentagon has sufficient quantities of weapons in its own stockpile and has been in contact with US industrial partners that produce weapons, such as Boeing Co. and General Dynamics, as companies work to produce more.

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