U.S. resumes bomb shipments to Israel

The United States has resumed the shipment of 500-pound bombs to Israel but has halted the delivery of 2,000-pound bombs due to concerns over their potential use in densely populated areas of Gaza. This decision may intensify criticism of the Biden administration.

Publication: 11.07.2024 - 12:27
U.S. resumes bomb shipments to Israel
Abone Ol google-news

The U.S. has restarted the shipment of approximately 500-pound bombs to Israel while deciding to stop the delivery of 2,000-pound bombs. This decision was reportedly driven by concerns over the potential use of these larger bombs in Gaza’s densely populated areas.

According to a U.S. official, shipments of both 2,000-pound and 500-pound bombs were halted in May due to fears that they would be used in Israel’s ground operations in Rafah, Gaza. Rafah is known as an area where more than a million Palestinian civilians have sought refuge.

Impact of the Bombs

A 500-pound bomb can cause severe injuries or fatalities within a 20-meter radius upon detonation. A 2,000-pound bomb has a devastating impact within a 35-meter radius.

The U.S. official stated that the 500-pound bombs were part of the same shipment and thus their transfer was also paused. "Our main concern was the potential use of 2,000-pound bombs in Rafah and other parts of Gaza. Since there were no concerns about the 500-pound bombs, they are being shipped as part of the usual process," the official said.

U.S.-Israel Relations

The U.S. has informed Israel that while the 500-pound bombs are being released, the larger bombs remain on hold. Speaking at the NATO summit, Al Jazeera correspondent Mike Hanna noted that this move could increase criticism of the Biden administration.

In June, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Washington of halting the arms shipments and called on U.S. officials to rectify the situation. The Biden administration denied Netanyahu’s claims and expressed disappointment.

During a visit to Washington, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant noted significant progress in munitions supplies from the U.S. and the removal of certain obstacles.

International Reactions

Despite the pause in the shipment of the 2,000-pound bombs, Israel continues to receive regular arms supplies from the U.S. According to Reuters, from October to the end of June, Israel received at least 14,000 MK-84 2,000-pound bombs, 6,500 500-pound bombs, 3,000 Hellfire guided missiles, 1,000 bunker-buster bombs, 2,600 small diameter bombs, and other munitions.

The death toll of Palestinians in the Gaza conflict has exceeded 38,000, and the region has suffered extensive destruction, prompting increased international criticism of Israel’s military operations.