JERUSALEM (AP) – The United States will sell Israel nearly 5,000 smart bombs in one of the largest weapons deals between the allies in years, the Haaretz newspaper reported Tuesday.
The deal could face political controversy since Israel has used such bombs in fighting with the Palestinians, the daily said. In one such instance in July 2002, a one-ton bomb meant for a senior Palestinian militant also killed 15 civilians in an attack in the Gaza Strip.
The deal is worth $319 million and was revealed in a Pentagon report made to the U.S. Congress a few weeks ago, Haaretz said. Funding for the sale will come from the U.S. military aid to Israel.
The bombs include airborne versions, guidance units, training bombs and detonators. The bombs are guided by an existing Israeli satellite used by the military.
As part of the deal, Israel will receive 500 one-ton bombs that can destroy two-yard concrete walls, 2,500 one-ton bombs, 1,000 half-ton bombs and 500 quarter-ton bombs, the daily said.
The Pentagon wants through the deal to maintain Israel’s military advantages and ensure U.S. strategic and tactical interests, Haaretz said.
In addition to American bombs, Israel has used U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets in several killings of senior Palestinian militants whom Israel accused of overseeing attacks in the four years of fighting.
I’m sure you remember just about 2 years ago when our State Department nearly went through the roof when it was discovered that a shipload of small weapons, worth about $15 million, was intercepted by the Israeli Defense Forces off the coast of Israel headed for the Palestinians. The name of the ship was the Karin A. How dare the Palestinians arm itself against Israel’s mighty weaponry? While the U.S. condemns any shipment of arms to the Palestinians, the U.S. supplies Israel with more weapons than most of the world together own. And just today, the U.S. announced it would sell (gift) 5,000 smart bombs to Israel, a deal worth $319 million. This is part of the more than $3 billion a year we give to Israel in economic and military aid. The last time the Israelis used one of these smart bombs was when it dropped one in the middle of a Gaza City Apartment complex and killed 16 innocent Palestinians including 9 children.
Talk about hypocrisy!! We talk about a balanced Middle East Policy but we have one standard for the treatment of Israelis that is so high they cannot be criticized no matter what grisly crimes they commit. Then we have a second standard for the treatment of Palestinians that is so low we publicly finance their ethnic cleansing and torture. Is it any wonder why there is no peace in the Middle East? America has reasonably moral policies at home but our foreign policy is as corrupt, hypocritical, and violent as any other nation we love to condemn.
Retired General David