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Amid Gaza war IDF buys ammunition from U.S. stock in Israel

The last time the U.S. allowed Israel to restock the IDF’s munitions from its local supply was in 2006, during the Second Lebanon War.

The U.S. approved the sale of $300 million worth of ammunition to Israel, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday. Among the ammunition Israel bought from the U.S. was “an undisclosed amount of 120 mm mortar rounds and 40 mm ammunition for grenade launchers,” ABC news reported

The interesting fact is that the sale was made from the U.S. stockpile (WRSA-I) – an emergency storage of ammunition and other military gear (including missiles and military vehicles) that the U.S. European Command has kept in a secret location in Israel since the early 90s. The storage belongs to the U.S. military, but the president can authorize a sale to Israel under special circumstances, as it did during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Israel’s ability to maintain a prolonged war is a sensitive military issue, and the details of the IDF’s stockpile are kept secret. However, it is a well known fact that in some cases Israel has relied on American supplies during its wars. The most well-known example is the arial convoy sent by President Nixon in 1973.

An Israeli artillery fires a shell towards the Gaza Strip from their position near Israel's border with the Gaza strip on July 24, 2014. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

An Israeli artillery fires a shell towards the Gaza Strip from their position near Israel’s border with the Gaza strip on July 24, 2014. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

No details of the current sale were made public in Israel after the Pentagon announcement, so it is unclear how a refusal to transfer the ammunition to the IDF would have affected Israel’s decision to continue with its Gaza operation. Israel usually uses the $3 billion in annual aid it receives from the U.S. on the purchase of weapons, since it must spend the money on U.S. products. Occasionally, the U.S. Congress also allows special aid packages during war times.

Israel announced this morning that 16,000 more reservists will be drafted, and that the IDF will receive new offensive missions in Gaza. Over 1,400 Palestinians and 55 Israelis have been killed in the war so far.

Related:
+972 Magazine’s full coverage of the war in Gaza
WATCH: Whole Gaza neighborhood destroyed in an hour
Why did Israel reject Kerry’s ceasefire proposal?

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    COMMENTS

    1. Whiplash

      So, what is the problem. The US sells military equipment to its allies all the time. The US has no greater alley than Israel in the Mideast.

      Reply to Comment
      • Lo

        Such a good ally, we have no bases there and no formal mutual defense pact. So good an ally, we have to explicitly divorce Israel from strategic operations in the region because Israel refuses to make peace with its neighbors (who are also US allies by and large). America was allied with Saudi Arabia before the creation of the State of Israel and it and other gulf states have allowed US power to be based and deployed from their countries.

        Reply to Comment
      • Andrew

        Stop mindlessly spewing out the banal and trite propaganda that Israel is anything other than a gross liability.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Khaled Khalid

      The blood of all those Palestinian children is on hands of Americans as well as Israelis.

      It can only mean America wants Israel’s Fascist and Hitlerian policies to continue.

      Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        Khaled you are wrong. Hamas’ hands are drenched in the blood of Israelis and Palestinians. They have been at their fanatical game since 1989. Their killings, shootings and bombings in the 1990s killed any chance of success of the Oslo Accords. Together with Marwan Barghouti they killed and maimed their way to the deaths of 1100 Israelis and 5000 Palestinians in the second intifada. They killed the Palestinian economy and the spirit of economic cooperation between two peoples. Since Israel left Gaza, they have been the source for the death of about 4,000 Palestinians. After Israel left Gaza, Hamas could have led Gazans to peace instead of wars, battles and killings. Instead they have instituted a reign of terror and religious fundamentalism.

        Reply to Comment
      • Eliza

        Khaled – Yes, the blood of the Palestinian children is on the hands of the American political elite. Both Republican and Democrat.

        I would say that the American elite, in the main, are quite able to tolerate these periodic Israeli massacres as well as the continuing occupation of the Palestinian people rather than actively want it. But I am sure that when its clear that Israel is a liability to the US, there will be nothing that AIPAC will be able to do. The US will eventually ditch Israel and my guess (and hope) is that this happens suddenly and soon.

        We will then see indifference by the US political elite to Israeli suffering. Ordinary Americans will continue to be almost fully occupied with getting a job, feeding their families etc, just as they are now.

        Zionism will surely come to be seen as the biggest folly of the 20th century.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Richard

      Trying to influence American voters here? Nobody in America cares about Palestinians literally starving to death in Yarmouk so there’s not much point in trying to reach the American voter. The who “if Americans knew” bit is a BDS tactic that has already failed.

      Reply to Comment
      • Average American

        Richard I’d like to say here that it’s not because average Americans don’t care. It’s because of the complete failure of America’s form of government. The People are supposed to be represented by Congress, to tell Congress what to do for them, Congress servants of The People. That’s not what we have. We are not represented. We don’t even get answers to our emails and letters from our Congresspeople. Our Congresspeople take care of themselves not us. They have their own health care (better), own pay (vote themselves a raise), own agendas (whatever gets them re-elected, not what serves the people the best).

        Reply to Comment
    4. Goldmarx

      “Hamas’ hands are drenched in the blood of Israelis and Palestinians. They have been at their fanatical game since 1989.”

      As Avner Cohen pointed out in a 2008 Wall Street Journal article, Hamas is Israel’s creation. So, let’s cut through the Hasbara bullshit and substitute the bitter truth:

      “Israel’s creation’s hands are drenched in the blood of Israelis and Palestinians. They have been at their fanatical game since 1989”

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        Avner Cohen is over stating his case. Israel cannot create an organisation like Hamas for the Palestinian people unless the ideology of Hamas is already in existence within Palestinian society.

        So even if Israel propped up Hamas as a bulwark against Fatah at one stage in history, Hamas is not Israel’s creation. It is a potent symbol for the existence of a strain of fanaticism and supremacism in Palestinian society.

        Funny how haters of Israel like you, Goldmarx, attribute super human powers to Israel to create movements like Hamas in Palestinian society yet so called peacenicks have been unable to create a significant peace movement in Palestinian society in the last 100 years.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Goldmarx

      Avner Cohen was there, working for Israel for decades in the Occupied Territories. You were not. For that reason alone, your opinion is nothing compared to his.

      Palestinian attempts at nonviolence have usually been greeted with Israeli state violence. Nevertheless, the BDS movement was launched in 2005, and that is a significant peace movement in Palestinian society. By contrast, it is Israel’s Peace Now movement which is moribund.

      Reply to Comment
    6. JohnW

      LOL, LOL, LOL …

      There was no Hamas before Israel created it.

      Then after Israel created Hamas, the Palestinian Arabs liked them so much that they voted for them instead of Fatah in a free and democratic election.

      Subsequently, the ungrateful Hamas, stabbed it’s creator, Israel, in the back and it wants to destroy us.

      Are you keeping a straight face while you are making such claims?

      Bizarre, just bizarre …

      Reply to Comment
    7. Goldmarx

      What I am saying is actually common knowledge among readers of the Wall Street Journal or Ha’aretz, for example, as well as the Israeli anti-war movement. Sticking your fingers in your ear and saying, “La, la, la, I can’t hear you!” won’t make inconvenient facts disappear.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        Really? Common knowledge amongst readers of the Wall St Journal? Read this then:

        http://m.asia.wsj.com/articles/SB123275572295011847?mobile=y

        “Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah”

        This is exactly what I said in an earlier post on another thread. It shows that the Islamists (Hamas) existed before Israel made the mistake of propping them up for a while. So if they existed before Israel tried it’s luck with them, then Israel did not create them. Right or wrong?

        No wonder you don’t post links to prove your assertions. It is easier to exaggerate talking points or to lie, right Goldo?

        Reply to Comment
        • Goldmarx

          I’ve posted links before, but the link you provided only undermines your case. You keep saying “Islamists(Hamas)”, but the Islamists were not always Hamas. A faction of Islamists ‘morphed’ into Hamas under Israel’s guidance, which the WSJ article clearly mentions.

          Avner Cohen is honest. You are anything but.

          Reply to Comment
    8. JohnW

      “You keep saying “Islamists(Hamas)”, but the Islamists were not always Hamas. A faction of Islamists ‘morphed’ into Hamas under Israel’s guidance,”

      Morphed into Hamas under Israel’s guidance?

      WTF! Are you saying that Israel took an innocent (wouldn’t hurt a fly) pre-existing Islamist movement and morphed it into the murderous organisation bent on Israel’s destruction?

      Show me a paragraph in the link where it says that?

      Sure, Israel miscalculated when it fostered Sheik Yassin in preference to Arafat for a while. But that is not the same as “creating” Hamas.

      Cohen is not dishonest. What he said was true. He just used the wrong word when he said “created”. The article clearly shows that sheik Yassin and Hamas existed already. And it is also obvious that Israel did not know what they really stood for. Or they underestimated them. But it clearly shows that Israel DID NOT CREATE Hamas.

      Reply to Comment
    9. JohnW

      Here is another quote from that article:

      “Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas.”

      Read it again: what does it say? Does it say Israel created Hamas? It clearly says Sheikh Yassin created it. And he built on sentiments that were already prevalent in Palestinian society?

      Was Israel stupid for cooperating with Yassin? Of course it was. We know that now in hindsight. But at that time, to some people at least, it made sense. So they f$&d up. Nu? It happens. We have our idiots too.

      But to say that Israel created Hamas in order so that Hamas could make war on Israel, is a bridge too far. Way too far! Not only that, but it is a lie and a distortion of what actually happened.

      Reply to Comment
    10. JohnW

      In the 1980s when Israel tried the experiment of using Islamists as a bulwark against the secular PLO, it seemed like a good idea. A bit like how the US used Al Quaida as a bulwark against the Soviets.

      Was that a bad idea in hindsight? Yes. But at the time the PLO itself was in the midst of a murderous terrorist campaign against Israelis. Not just in Israel but in places like the Munich Olympics. So at the time it seemed like a good idea.

      But Israel created Hamas? Garbage. Israel no more created Hamas than the US created Al Quaida.

      Reply to Comment