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

The munitions were located inside Israel as part of a program managed by the US military and called War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I), which stores munitions locally for US 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.

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