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F-16i jet (Archive photo) Photo: Hanan Greenberg
F-16i jet (Archive photo) Photo: Hanan Greenberg
 
Israeli raid in Tyre Photo: Reuters
Israeli raid in Tyre Photo: Reuters
 
 

Report: US to deliver 'smart bombs' to Israel

New York Times reports that Israel asked US delivers shipment of smart bombs under deal signed last year; Washington believes Israel has long list of targets in Lebanon requiring precision-guided missiles

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 07.22.06, 08:45 / Israel News

Washington - Smart bombs on the way: The Bush administration has complied with Israel's request for an expedited delivery of satellite and laser-guided bombs, the New York Times reported Saturday.

 

The newspaper reported that the decision could anger Arab countries who have accused Washington of giving Israel the green light to push ahead with its offensive against Lebanon.

 

Israel and the United States have kept silent on the type of bombs and the size of the delivery.

 

The delivery is part of a multimillion-dollar arms sale deal signed between Washington and Jerusalem last year, which Israel can draw on as needed.

 

But US officials said the arms delivery is not similar to that supplied by Washington to Israel during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, which helped Israel gain momentum against the attacking Arab armies.

 

Estimates are that Israel needs a large number of precision-guided bombs to bombard Hizbullah bunkers with little collateral damage.

 

Although the Pentagon refused to give details of the delivery, the newspaper said last year's agreement included 100 precision-guided bombs weighing two and a half tons each. The bombs are used to destroy underground concrete bunkers.

 

Israel is eligible to purchase "bunker buster" bombs capable of penetrating underground Hizbullah bunkers. The bombs can be fitted on F-15 jets.

 

The Bush administration has also approved a six-billion arms sale deal with Saudi Arabia, which the newspaper say is aimed at soothing Arab anger at Washington's support for Israel.

 

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