Sunday 3 December 2023 - 22:41

75 Years of Israeli Crimes with American-supplied Weapons

Story Code : 1100107
75 Years of Israeli Crimes with American-supplied Weapons
After October 7 attack, the US administration several times brazenly voiced its support to the Israeli regime and scrambled its sources to provide military assistance to Tel Aviv. The aids include missiles for the Iron Dome air defense, artillery shells, precision-guided missiles, and even fighter jets. It also deployed two aircraft carriers and missile cruisers, submarines, and several thousand marine troops, as well as advisers and intelligence personnel to help the Israeli occupation in case of expansion of war. Additionally, it approved $14 billion in snap funding to the Israeli regime. 

The strategic relations between the US and the Israeli regime were not established overnight, but they are the product of several decades of unwavering American support to Tel Aviv so that this regime can have the ability to threaten and have deterrence in the region. These aids are not only limited to the time of crisis, and new data reveal other dimensions of the role of American weapons in massacring and displacing the Palestinians. 

Washington’s support to Israeli regime dates back to the latter’s foundation in 1948, and Washington claims that it supports Tel Aviv because of common strategic goals and mutual commitment to democratic values. 

In this regard, Axios news wrote in a report Thursday that between 1950 and 2022, Washington provided more than 70,000 types of weapons to Israeli military, including fighters jets, armored vehicles, missiles, and bombs. According to this media’s analysis of a report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Israeli regime is the largest recipient of US foreign military and financial aid, and most of this aid is in the form of weapon packages. 

“I think it’s a safe assumption to say that US weapons are being used extensively in the current Israeli operations in Gaza,” Elias Yousif, a US arms transfer expert at the Stimson Center, told Time earlier this month.

A week after the start of Israeli war on Gaza, media reported that the US is loading and transferring GBU and GBU31 bombs to the occupied territories from bases in Qatar, Cyprus, Greece and Germany. 

The abovementioned bombs are the most destructive types of ammunition that have been used to destroy residential areas and infrastructure in Gaza. Actually, the large-scale damage in Gaza is due to the use of these American weapons. 

Hundreds of billions in military aids 

Over the past 75 years since foundation of Israeli regime, the American government has spent billions of dollars to strengthen the shaky foundation of this West’s illegitimate child in the region. 

According to data from the Congressional Research Service, by 2023, estimates indicate that the US has provided Tel Aviv with $158.8 billion in various aids. Adjusted for inflation, this figure will reach $260 billion, of which $114.4 billion is in military aid, $34.4 billion in economic aid, with an additional $10 billion for missile programs. 

According to the Business Insider report, the US this year supplied to Israeli regime at least 16 items of weapons including aircraft and missiles, though their number is unknown. That is why some lawmakers are pressing the White House for clarity on the aids to the Israelis. 

The Pentagon has announced that it will not limit the use of the provided weapons by the Israeli military, although the US government has reportedly asked the Israelis to prevent civilian casualties during war. US foreign military funding currently covers approximately 16 percent of Israel’s defense budget, indicating a large scale of aid to Tel Aviv. 

Due to its strategic relations with the US, Israeli regime has the chance to possess state-of-the-art weapons and military technology. It was the first US ally to procure F-35 Lightening II and is the only customer authorized to customize this warplane with its own systems. It ordered 50 of this fifth-generation stealth jet and received 36 of them so far. 

According to the State Department, as of October 2023, the US has signed 599 foreign military sales deals with Israeli government worth $23.8 billion, including F-35s, CH-53K helicopters, KC-46A air refueling tankers, and precision-guided munitions. The two sides in the past signed several bilateral defense cooperation agreements, including the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement (1952), General Security of Information Agreements (1982), Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (1991), and the Status of Forces Agreement (1994).

Since 2011, the US has also invested more than $8 million in conventional weapons destruction programs in the West Bank to improve regional and humanitarian security by surveying and clearing minefields, according to Sky News. 

Although the Israeli regime does not publish details of the weapons it uses against the Palestinian resistance groups and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, it seems that most of these weapons are American-made. Especially the F-16 fighters, which have been used in a large scale against the Palestinians, Lebanon and Syria in the last two decades. Actually, the current Israeli air superiority is because of the possession of advanced American fighters. 

New format of military aids 

Though the US backed the Israeli occupation since day one, in recent three decades the aids have taken a new form. According to Aljazeera, since 1999, the US aids to Israeli regime have been determined under 10-year MoUs. This is because MoUs, unlike treaties, are not legal and binding agreements and do not require approval of the Congress. They also allow the government to provide additional items and in emergency situations like war provide additional packages, like the recent $14 billion. 

The first MoU for US aid to the Israeli regime from 1999 to 2008 was set at $21.3 billion, then in the second one, which covered the period from 2009 to 2018, the aids were increased to $30 billion. These aids reached their climactic point under the third MoU in the period from 2019 to 2028, during which the US is committed to provide $3.3 billion in military aid annually. In addition, $500 million per year has been allocated to the Israeli missile defense programs, totaling $33 billion. The Congress approved about $3.8 billion to Tel Aviv in the 2023 budget, showing that US aid to its ally is on the rise.

US aid includes the required quantities of weapons, command and control equipment, communications, surveillance, and intelligence, all of which would enable Israeli military to confront one or more countries in a hostile military alliance.

Missile project the significant part of military cooperation 

Joint US-Israeli missile defense projects are among the most prominent projects firmly supported by the Congress. According to official US estimates, from 1946 to 2023, the amount of aids for these projects reached about $10 billion, divided in 3 main projects. Of this sum, about $4.5 billion were for the development of Arrow, more than $2.4 billion were for the development of the David’s Sling, and about $2.9 billion were for the development of the Iron Dome air defense systems. This support covers purchase of Iron Dome batteries and interception missiles, joint production costs, and general maintenance. 

According to the Stimson Center, the US has also invested more than $8.6 billion between 2006 and 2023 in various US-Israeli missile defense programs, including longer-range air defense systems such as the Arrow 1 and 2 and the David’s Sling. Also, the US deployed the X-band radar system in the occupied territories, which is capable of detecting enemy missiles and also feeding F-35 fighter planes with data for operations. 

According to Euronews, the government budget bill signed by Biden in 2022 allocated $500 million for the development of the Iron Dome and $72.5 million for cooperation between Washington and Tel Aviv in countering drones and tunnel detection. The US and the Israeli regime have conducted numerous military exercises so far, the largest of which was in January 2023.

Turkish state-funded TRT Arabi news network reported recently that according to estimates, the total US aid to Israeli government since its establishment has been about $318 billion, of which $225 billion is military aid. The US government grants its ally $3.3 billion annually in military support, which accounts for 55 percent of total US foreign aids. 

Also, Jewish Virtual Library website listed part of the American military aid to the Israeli regime. It suggests that Washington in 2013 provided JP-8 jet fuel, diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline for $2 billion, in 2014 provided 600 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II missiles for $544 million, in 2015 provided about 14,500 Joint direct attack munitions (JDAM) and related equipment for $1.8 billion, in 2016 provided 8 SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopters for $300 million, in 2017 provided 13 76mm naval guns and technical support for $440 million, in 2018 provided 240 armored personnel carrier kits and related equipment $238 million, and in 2019 provided and KC-46A air tanker and jet fuel for $2.4 billion. 

The US aid to the Israeli army demonstrates Washington’s desire to strengthen Tel Aviv power and maintain its military superiority over the Arab armies to compensate for some of the weaknesses that Israel suffers due to its small size and population. Even in recent years, when the American government planned to sell F-35s to the UAE and Qatar, the Israeli authorities strongly opposed the idea, and talks for a deal were put on hold. 

Storing ammunition in the occupied territories for the time of need 

The American military support to Tel Aviv also includes storage of military equipment and ammunition in the occupied territories for the Israelis to use them when the need arises. According to reports, these ‘war reserves’ include missiles, armored vehicles, and artillery ammunition. Over the past decades, Israeli military requested to use these stored ammunitions at least twice, one in 2006 and during war against Hezbollah and the other in 2014 during war on Gaza. Though the status of these stored arms remains unknown to public and media and Biden administration used them to back Ukraine, they can provide a source for additional aids to Tel Aviv. 

Reports indicate that Boeing has already accelerated the delivery of its small diameter bombs purchased by the Israeli regime in 2021. Since Tel Aviv has almost dried out its weapons in the Gaza war in the past two months, the US is expected to step up its aids to avoid shortages. 

US direct entry to Israeli wars 

All American administrations, both Republican and Democratic, have gone to great lengths to support the Israeli regime and have stood by it in the conflicts with the Palestinian resistance groups, Hezbollah, and Arab countries in the distant past. According to TRT, in the Israeli-Arab war in October 1973, the US launched an airlift operation called Nickel Grass through which about 22,200 tons of weapons were transferred to Tel Aviv. 

According to Egyptian Youm 7 newspaper, the US deployment of warships to Gaza war has precedents in Israeli-Arab wars. In the past, it sent them to Middle East for Israeli wars four times: In 1948, 1967, 1973, and 1982 wars, in which the Israeli navy involved in direct operations to provide intelligence and firepower to Israeli forces. 

In addition to direct military assistance, Washington partners Tel Aviv in such areas as military drills, military research, arms development, and intelligence gathering. And diplomatically, the Americans turn a blind eye to the Israeli nuclear weapons while pressing other countries seeking nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.