Report: U.S. sending Ukraine artillery shells stored in Israel

New York Times reports that out of more than a million 155-millimeter shells the U.S. has delivered or promised to deliver to Ukraine, almost half of them come or will come from stockpiles in Israel and South Korea

i24NEWS, Ynet|
The U.S. is sending artillery shells to Ukraine that are being stored in Israel, according to a report in The New York Times on Tuesday.
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  • A senior U.S. official told the paper that out of more than a million 155-millimeter shells the U.S. has delivered or promised to deliver to Ukraine, almost half of them come or will come from stockpiles in Israel and South Korea. Both U.S. and Israeli officials said that half of the 300,000 shells stored in Israel have already arrived in Europe, and will enter Poland before delivery to Ukraine.
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    חיילים אוקראינים בזפוריז'יה
    חיילים אוקראינים בזפוריז'יה
    Russian artillery battery
    (Photo: AP)
    This comes as the U.S. is strained to supply more ammunition to Ukraine, which uses twice the combined production of artillery shells against Russian targets. The deficit has forced the U.S. to search for other sources to arm Ukrainian forces, including tapping into overseas stockpiles, until American manufacturers can scale up production.
    “Based on a U.S. request, certain equipment was transferred” to the U.S. Defense Department, an Israeli military spokesman said.
    According to the report, the U.S. stockpile in Israel originated following the Yom Kippur War in 1973, when significant amounts of ammunition were delivered to support Israel. It was later decided by the U.S. government that the stockpile should remain in Israel permanently in cases of emergencies.
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    הצבעה על יו''ר הכנסת במליאה
    הצבעה על יו''ר הכנסת במליאה
    Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    A senior Israeli official said that the move was coordinated between U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin with then Defense Minister Benny Gantz in a talk the two had. The request was then motioned to Israel's security cabinet and was approved by former Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
    U.S. officials said Washington promised Israel it will replenish the stockpile and will send emergency shipments of ammunition in case of an emergency.
    Israel has been hesitant in supplying Ukraine with weapons, worried about Russia’s response. The Jewish state sees maintaining diplomatic ties with Moscow as a national interest, both for the large number of Jews living in Russia and for the military coordination in Syria.

    Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS
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