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(photo credit: AP [file])
According to a New York Times report Saturday, American officials said Friday that the US has rushed a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hizbullah targets in Lebanon.
The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials told the Times.
Disclosure of the shipment threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran's efforts to arm and re-supply Hizbullah.
The munitions that the United States is sending to Israel, according to the Times
are part of a multimillion-dollar arms sale package approved last year that Israel is able to draw on as needed, the officials said.
However, Israel's request for the delivery of the satellite and laser-guided bombs was described as unusual by some military officers, and as an indication that Israel may still have a long list of targets in Lebanon to strike.
reported that Pentagon and military officials declined to describe in detail the size and contents of the shipment to Israel, and they would not say whether the munitions were being shipped by cargo aircraft or some other means. But an arms-sale package approved last year provides authority for Israel to purchase from the United States as many as 100 GBU-28's, which are 5,000-pound laser-guided bombs intended to destroy concrete bunkers. The package also provides for selling satellite-guided munitions.
According to a Pentagon document, "The Israeli Air Force will use these GBU-28's on their F-15 aircraft," the Times
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