Published On: Tue, Aug 26th, 2014

Defense Ministry Source: Delayed US Weapons Shipment Will Be Sent to Israel Soon

Navy,    Marine Corps team destroy simulated enemy during  Forager Fury II

A source in Israel’s Defense Ministry has told Haaretz yesterday that, following progress in the understanding between the U.S. and Israel, the previously blocked weapons shipment to Israel will be released. Several Israeli sources have expressed optimism regarding the fate of the shipment, including one source that said the hurdles that have led to the freezing of the shipment, some of which were purely bureaucratic, have now been removed.

On August 13, the Wall Street Journal, in a report that shook Israeli-American relations for a few days, suggested that a large Pentagon shipment of Hellfire missiles to the IDF was halted by the White House in early August, seemingly in response to Israel’s attack on a building where a reported 3, 000 civilians had found shelter. The missiles are used by IDF American-made Apache helicopters, the Wall Street Journal revealed Wednesday night.

The WSJ said the White House and the State Department were furious to discover last month that the IDF had been dealing separately, army to army, with the Pentagon, to replenish spent ammunition without the approval of the president.

Yesterday, Haaretz reported that Israel is turning to other arms and munitions sources to acquire new weapons, and has purchased hundreds of Russian-made shoulder-fire missiles. Still, most weapons the IDF uses are produced in Israel.

Nevertheless, Israel still purchases the vast majority of its weapons from the U.S., making acquisitions from other countries “negligible, ” according to an expert speaking to Haaretz.

The United States provides roughly $3.1 billion annually in military assistance to Israel, including F-16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, missiles and tank rounds, not including US financing of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, according to the Washington Post.

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