The U.S. State Department has approved a $320 million sale to Israel of equipment for kits that turn unguided bombs into more precise, GPS-guided munitions, according to a letter sent by the department to Congress that was obtained by The New York Times.
The order comes on top of an earlier one for the same equipment that was valued at almost $403 million.
Israel has been using the kits during its bombing campaign in Gaza. According to the Gaza health ministry, which is part of the Hamas-run government in the enclave, the Israeli strikes have resulted in the deaths of about 10,000 Palestinians, 40 percent of whom are young children and teens.
Israel has ordered more munitions from the United States alongside the equipment for guided bomb kits. Modern militaries generally add the guidance systems on their bombs with the goal of minimizing civilian casualties, although the damage can still be devastating, especially in urban areas.
Israel’s arsenal of air munitions is made up largely of 1,000- and 2,000-pound bombs, among the largest used by any military force. Israel dropped at least two 2,000-pound bombs in an airstrike on Oct. 31 on the dense Jabaliya neighborhood of Gaza. That strike killed dozens of people and injured many more, according to Gazan authorities and hospital officials. [Continue reading…]