U.S. Sends Bunker Buster Bombs to Israel Amidst Gaza Conflict

U.S. Sends Bunker Buster Bombs to Israel Amidst Gaza Conflict

In a strategic move, the United States has provided Israel with a substantial arsenal. This includes powerful bunker buster bombs, and it is part of the continuous efforts to remove Hamas from Gaza. A surge in arms, about 15,000 bombs and 57,000 artillery shells, began after the October 7th attack and continues recently.

Delicate Diplomatic Tightrope

The undisclosed transfer, including 100 BLU-109 bunker buster bombs weighing 2,000 pounds each, emphasizes the delicate diplomatic tightrope walked by the Biden administration. The U.S. supports its key ally, urging Israel to minimize civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict.

Protecting Civilians Amidst Strategic Objectives

Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored the importance of protecting civilians, stating, “After a pause, it was imperative that Israel put in place clear protections for civilians, and for sustaining humanitarian assistance going forward.”

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Concerns Over Weaponry Consistency

Concerns about the potential inconsistency between the supply of larger bombs and U.S. recommendations to use smaller-diameter bombs have arisen. This issue is particularly significant considering the urban nature of the conflict in Gaza.

The Secrecy Surrounding United States Weaponry to Israel

Unlike the situation in Ukraine, where the U.S. provides regular updates on weapons sent to support Kyiv’s fight against the Russian invasion, little has been disclosed about the weapons sent to Israel during the current conflict. U.S. officials attribute this to the unique mechanism through which Israel receives weapons, including military sales, and its status as a significant recipient of U.S. military aid.

Resumption of Offensive and Lingering Questions

As Israel resumes its Gaza offensive post-failed ceasefires, concerns linger about the proportionality and impact of the weaponry employed. The U.S. has previously deployed the arsenal in various global conflicts, and it raises concerns due to the densely populated urban environment in Gaza, where militants are interwoven among civilians.

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Evolution of United States Stance

The evolving stance of the Biden administration reflects the escalating civilian death toll in Gaza. Initially expressing full support for Israel’s military campaign, the administration has adjusted its position in response to unfolding events.

Humanitarian Toll and Global Implications

The conflict has taken a significant toll, with over 15,000 Palestinians reported killed in Gaza, predominantly women and children, according to authorities in the Hamas-controlled enclave. The indiscriminate casualty count doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants. In return, Hamas claimed the lives of over 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, during the October 7th attack.

Munitions Details and Complexity

The munitions sent to Israel encompass various bombs, including unguided Mk82 and Mk84 bombs, GBU-39 small diameter bombs, and JDAMs converting unguided bombs into guided “smart” bombs. The BLU-109 bunker buster, designed for penetrating concrete shelters, is also part of the dispatched arsenal. While effective in specific military scenarios, concerns arise when used in densely populated areas.

Balancing Military Objectives and Civilian Safety

This complex situation underscores the delicate balance between military objectives and minimizing civilian harm. The U.N., humanitarian agencies, and Arab nations advocate for a permanent cease-fire. In contrast, the Biden administration rejects this, emphasizing continued support for Israel’s actions against Hamas in Gaza.

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