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US has sent Israel 14,000 two-thousand-pound bombs since October

The Biden administration has significantly increased its military support to Israel amidst the ongoing Gaza conflict, supplying large quantities of powerful munitions. According to Reuters, since October 7, the U.S. has sent over 14,000 2,000-pound bombs, 6,500 500-pound bombs, 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 1,000 bunker-buster bombs, and 2,600 small-diameter bombs, among other munitions.

Despite international calls to limit weapon supplies, there has been no significant decrease in U.S. military support for Israel.

The impact of these munitions on Gaza’s destruction has been profound. The 2,000-pound bombs, in particular, are capable of penetrating thick concrete and metal, creating wide blast radii that devastate infrastructure and lead to significant civilian casualties. This ongoing bombardment has left large parts of Gaza in ruins and exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the region.

International scrutiny has intensified as the Palestinian death toll exceeds 37,000, with Gaza left in ruins. This scrutiny has also fueled political backlash within the U.S., especially among young Democrats and pro-Palestinian groups, as President Biden prepares for re-election. The administration’s decision to pause the shipment of one particular type of 2,000-pound bomb highlights concerns over the impact in densely populated Gaza areas, yet all other arms deliveries continue as normal.

Dr. Iain Overton, Executive Director of Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), decried the exports: “The continuous flow of such destructive munitions into a conflict zone is alarming and underscores the urgent need for international arms control measures to prevent further civilian casualties. The scale of destruction in Gaza is a direct consequence of these shipments, and it highlights the dire need for more responsible arms trade practices.”

The shipments of U.S. munitions are part of a broader strategy to support Israel in its military endeavors. Since the war began, the U.S. has provided $6.5 billion worth of security assistance to Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that Washington was withholding weapons, a suggestion U.S. officials have repeatedly denied despite acknowledging some “bottlenecks.”

The weapons shipments have been essential for Israel to replenish its supplies in the ongoing conflict, which began after the October 7 attack by Palestinian Hamas militants that killed 1,200 people and took 250 others hostage, according to Israeli tallies. However, the scale and speed of these deliveries have raised concerns about their contribution to the extensive destruction and high civilian death toll in Gaza.

In addition to the immediate humanitarian impact, the political ramifications within the United States are significant. Biden’s support for Israel in its war against Hamas has emerged as a political liability, particularly among young Democrats. It has fueled a wave of “uncommitted” protest votes in primaries and driven pro-Palestinian protests at U.S. universities.

While the United States provides detailed descriptions and quantities 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 U.S. weapons and munitions sent to Israel. The shipments are also hard to track because some of the weapons are shipped as part of arms sales approved by Congress years ago but only now being fulfilled.

One of the U.S. officials said the Pentagon has sufficient quantities of weapons in its own stocks and had been liaising with U.S. industry partners who make the weapons, such as Boeing Co. and General Dynamics, as the companies work to manufacture more. However, the continuous and large-scale provision of munitions to Israel underscores the substantial role of U.S. arms exports in the ongoing conflict and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

In summary, the ongoing military support from the U.S. to Israel amidst the Gaza conflict underscores the complexity of international relations and the dire need for humanitarian considerations in warfare. The impact of U.S. munitions on Gaza’s destruction highlights the urgent need for a reevaluation of arms trade practices and stronger international arms control measures to prevent further civilian casualties and infrastructure damage.