More

    The US has sent at least 14,000 of its massive, highly destructive 2,000-pound bombs to Israel since October 7, report says

    A search and rescue operation after Israeli attacks on Gaza.

    Anadolu/ Getty Images

    The US has sent Israel at least 14,000 2,000-pound bombs since October 7, Reuters reported.Highly destructive 2,000-pound bombs have been used to devastating effect in Israel’s offensive in Gaza.US military aid to Israel has totaled $6.5 billion since the start of the war on Hamas, a US official has said.

    The US has shipped at least 14,000 MK-84 2,000-pound bombs to Israel since the start of the war in Gaza in October, Reuters reported, citing two US officials briefed on an updated list of shipments.

    The MK-84 is one of Israel’s largest and most destructive bombs. A New York Times investigation last year found that Israel had “routinely” used such sized bombs in zones it had declared safe for civilians during the first six weeks of the war.

    The Joint Program Executive Office Armaments & Ammunition says the MK-84 bomb, which the US used extensively in the Gulf War from 1990-1991, has a blast and fragmentation mechanism and is ideally suited for strikes on “buildings, rail yards, and lines of communication.”

    The US previously paused one shipment of the 2,000-pound bomb due to concerns over the impact it could have in densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip. Munitions experts say bombs of such size are rarely dropped by US forces in densely populated areas anymore, per The Times.

    “The use of 2,000-pound bombs in an area as densely populated as Gaza means it will take decades for communities to recover,” John Chappell, an advisor on legal and policy issues at the Center for Civilians in Conflict, previously told CNN.

    US support for Israel

    The US has also shipped 6,500 500-pound bombs, 3,000 Hellfire missiles, and other munitions to Israel since October 7, the two officials told Reuters.

    Tom Karako, a weapons expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the agency that this clearly demonstrated “a substantial level of support from the United States for our Israeli allies.”

    He added that they were the kind of munitions that Israel would use against Hamas or in a potential battle with Hezbollah.

    While the full extent of US weapons shipments to Israel remains unclear, a senior Biden administration official recently confirmed that the US has delivered $6.5 billion in security assistance since October 7.

    With the Palestinian death toll now standing at more than 37,000, according to the Gaza health ministry, scrutiny of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) actions has mounted, with Biden pausing a shipment of bombs to Israel amid concerns they would be used in its Rafah offensive without a plan for the civilians there.

    But Biden is yet to take any further action to condition military aid deliveries, and the latest Reuters report on shipment details suggests there has been little reduction in the amount being delivered to Israel.

    Domestically, Biden’s support for Israel has become a contentious issue, particularly among young voters.

    Business Insider reported in May that Biden’s reelection campaign was struggling to shore up support among those critical of his support for Israel.

    Tensions have also been brewing between Israel and the US in spite of the continuing aid deliveries, with Biden recently saying that there was “every reason” for people to think Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was prolonging the war in Gaza to stay in power.

    Business Insider contacted the IDF and the Pentagon for comment.

    Read the original article on Business Insider

    Related

    Latest posts

    Categories