There are indications that the Obama administration is using weapons shipments to Israel as a way to force the Jewish state to see its way on the issue of establishing a Palestinian state.
The administration’s decision to delay weapons shipments comes amid a brewing dispute between the U.S. and Israel over establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
This may have had a role in reports as the Israeli Defense Ministry decided to resume developing and producing indigenous munitions in an effort to end its dependence on U.S. weapons.
According to Middle East Newsline, the need for indigenous munitions production was a key lesson from the 2006 war with Hezbollah, when Israel quickly exhausted its supply of U.S.-made air-dropped munitions.
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“We have to end our exclusive dependency on the United States in the area of air bombs,” an official said.
The Israeli military used a range of indigenous munitions during the 22-day war with Hamas in January. The state-owned Israel Military Industries (IMI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems produced most of these munitions.
An IMI-designed bomb, reported to be a new advanced weapon, described as a laser-guided bunker-busting bomb based on an American-designed 1,000-pound general purpose bomb, was used against Hamas weapons tunnels in southern Gaza. It was able to penetrate over six feet of steel-reinforced concrete.
Israel’s Rafael Industry was said to have used advanced air-to-ground missiles installed on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The missiles were said to have included miniaturized versions of Israel’s Spike anti-tank missile. Each brigade combat team, in the first such arrangement, received a UAV squadron that could be used against selected targets.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org