A new study by the Arms Trade Research Center, an affiliate of the World Policy Institute, documents the US origins of much of the weaponry currently being used by Israel in their assault on Lebanon. While there has been considerable attention in the media focused on the potential Syrian and Iranian origin of weaponry being used by Hezbollah, there has been no similar discussion of the origins of Israeli weaponry. Since taking office in 2001, the Bush administration has provided Israel with $10.5 billion in Foreign Military Financing – the Pentagon’s biggest military aid program – and $6.3 billion in United States arms deliveries. The most prominent of these deals is the sale of 102 Lockheed Martin F-16s to Israel, despite the likelihood that weapons of US origin have been used in attacks that constitute human rights abuses. Among these attacks include reports from the State Department mentioning missile strikes on a refugee camp that killed six people and wounded 19; the shooting and killing of four Palestinian children; the demolition of Palestinian homes using tank shells, heavy machine guns, and rockets (deemed an excessive use of force); the use of rocket fire in targeted killing of leaders of Hamas; the killing of 47 civilian bystanders in an operation aimed at suspected terrorists in the occupied territories; and the use of tank shells, machine-gun rounds and rockets fired from aircraft against Palestinian towns and cities.
The New York Times reported Sunday that the United States is “rushing” a delivery of satellite and laser-guided bombs to Israel.