As Gaza Bombings Continue, U.S. Approves Sales of Deadly Spice Bombs to Israel

The bombs are manufactured by the U.S. subsidiary of Israeli firm, Rafael.
  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 11:10 AM, November 7, 2023
  • 749
As Gaza Bombings Continue, U.S. Approves Sales of Deadly Spice Bombs to Israel
SPICE bomb @Rafael

The United States government has approved a $320 million sale of precision-guided munition equipment to Israel, specifically designed to convert unguided bombs into more accurate, GPS-guided munitions.

This was first reported by The Washington Post.

These precision-guided bomb kits, referred to as Spice Family Gliding Bomb Assemblies, are manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli defense company, with the U.S. subsidiary of Rafael facilitating this transaction.

The decision to provide Israel with these munitions has ignited debates and criticism, primarily due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, where the Gaza health ministry has reported a significant number of Palestinian casualties. Israel has employed precision-guided munitions to target military objectives in Gaza, resulting in devastating damage, particularly in densely populated urban areas.

According to a letter obtained by The New York Times, the U.S. State Department has authorized the $320 million sale to Israel, which includes equipment for converting unguided bombs into more precise GPS-guided munitions. This sale follows a previous transaction for the same equipment valued at nearly $403 million.

The approval from the U.S. State Department was granted on October 31, coinciding with a major airstrike in Gaza's Jabaliya neighborhood that reportedly involved the use of 2,000-pound bombs, resulting in numerous casualties and drawing attention to the use of such munitions in densely populated areas.

This sale process is distinct in that it involves a foreign entity, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, directly purchasing armament from an American company, Rafael USA, bypassing the typical U.S. government foreign military sales channels. As a result, the State Department's approval was not as widely disclosed as is customary for arms sales.

The approval letter from the State Department was addressed to House Speaker Mike Johnson, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, all of which oversee weapons sales. It's essential to note that Israel's request for this $320 million equipment had been initiated earlier and had undergone an informal review process with congressional committees, only receiving final State Department approval on October 31, 2023.

This approval follows a prior sale of similar equipment valued at almost $403 million, which was approved on February 5, 2023, contributing to the ongoing discussion and debate surrounding the use of precision munitions in the Gaza conflict.

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