U.S. resupplies Israel with munitions as Gaza offensive rages

WASHINGTON Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:52pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has allowed Israel, waging an offensive in the Gaza Strip, to tap a local U.S. arms stockpile in the past week to resupply it with grenades and mortar rounds, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday.

The munitions were located inside Israel as part of a program managed by the U.S. military and called War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I), which stores munitions locally for U.S. use that Israel can also access in emergency situations.

Israel, however, did not cite an emergency when it made its latest request about 10 days ago, the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The United States allowed Israel to access the strategic stockpile anyway to resupply itself with 40mm grenades and 120mm mortar rounds to deplete older stocks that would eventually need to be refreshed.

"They didn't ask for it from there but we gave it to them so we could rotate our stocks," the official said.

Additional Israeli requests for U.S.-manufactured ammunition were also being processed in the United States, the official said. The official did not offer further details on quantities or costs of ammunition already supplied or requested.

Israel's embassy in Washington declined comment about the resupply request, including whether it asked for the ammunition because of its operations in Gaza.

Separately, U.S. lawmakers were working in Congress to provide millions of dollars in additional funding for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile shield.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee added $225 million for Iron Dome to a spending bill intended mainly to provide money to handle an influx of thousands of Central American children across the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 1,346 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed since Israel began its offensive on July 8 with the declared aim of halting cross-border rocket fire and destroying the tunnel network of the Islamist group Hamas.

On the Israeli side, 56 soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by David Storey and Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (26)
prolibertate wrote:
The US regime is violating its own laws to support a terrorist, nuclear-weapons wielding, war criminal state of Israel.

Jul 31, 2014 1:05am EDT  --  Report as abuse
logicus wrote:
Israel’s disproportionate killling of 20 civilians for each soldier killed is surely a war crime. So is the US decision to continue providing supplies.

Jul 31, 2014 1:11am EDT  --  Report as abuse
johnnyboone wrote:
With the continued destruction of Gaza by Israel with U.S. weapons, the U.S. and Israel should be held accountable by requiring those two nations to completely rebuild Gaza. Every time Israel “mows the lawn” by destroying and killing in Gaza they are not held accountable and the rest of the world has to pick up the mess. It is time that those countries who destroy are required to pay for rebuild!!!!!!! Oh, the weapons where getting old and needed to be used anyway. What a bunch of BS!

Jul 31, 2014 1:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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