US Rushes Precision - Guided Bombs to Israel: NYTimes
Published: July 22, 2006
Filed at 11:15 a.m. ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
Citing U.S. officials who spoke on Friday on condition of anonymity, the Times said the decision to ship the weapons quickly came after relatively little debate within the administration, and noted in its report that its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others who could perceive Washington as aiding Israel in the manner that Iran has armed Hezbollah.
The munitions are actually part of a multimillion-dollar arms-sale package approved last year which Israel is able to tap when it needs to, the officials told the Times. But some military officers said the request for expedited delivery was unusual and indicated that Israel has many targets it plans to hit in Lebanon.
The arms shipment has not been announced publicly. The officials who described the administration's decision to rush the munitions included employees of two government agencies, one of whom described the shipment as just one example of a broad array of armaments that the United States has long provided Israel, the Times said.
Pentagon and military officials declined to describe in detail the size and contents of the shipment to Israel, the newspaper said, and they would not say whether the munitions were being shipped by cargo aircraft or some other means.
But one U.S. official said the shipment should not be compared to the kind of an ``emergency resupply'' of dwindling Israeli stockpiles that was provided during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, according to the Times report.
A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington told the Times: ``We have been using precision-guided munitions in order to neutralize the military capabilities of Hezbollah and to minimize harm to civilians. As a rule, however, we do not comment on Israel's defense acquisitions.'' http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7B89DB2A29-399D-4CD0-87F5-E054629C6CE6%7D
US Rushes Bomb Delivery to Israel
New York, Jul 22 (Prensa Latina) Without hesitation, the US government is rushing today a shipment of precision-guided bombs to Israel in what is considered a decisive support to Tel Aviv´s invasion of Lebanon.
The news making headlines today in The New York Times quotes US administration officials as saying that the decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration.
The new American arms shipment to Israel has not been announced publicly, and the officials who described the administration’s decision to rush the munitions to Israel would discuss it only after being promised anonymity.
Moreover, Israel’s request for expedited delivery of the satellite and laser-guided bombs was described as unusual by some military officers, and as an indication that Israel still had a long list of targets in Lebanon to strike.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday that she would head to Israel on Sunday at the beginning of a round of Middle Eastern diplomacy. The original plan was to include a stop to Cairo in her travels, but she did not announce any stops in Arab capitals.
Instead, the meeting of Arab and European envoys planned for Cairo will take place in Italy, Western diplomats said. While Arab governments initially criticized Hezbollah for starting the fight with Israel in Lebanon, discontent is rising in Arab countries over the number of civilian casualties in Lebanon, and the governments have become wary of playing host to Ms. Rice until a cease-fire package is put together.
Rice statements on Friday shed more light on US intentions. “I have no interest in diplomacy for the sake of returning Lebanon and Israel to the status quo ante,” she said.
Before her Sunday trip, the Secretary of State will join President Bush at the White House for discussions on the Middle East crisis with two Saudi envoys, Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the secretary general of the National Security Council.
The officials included employees of two government agencies, and one described the shipment as just one example of a broad array of armaments that the United States has long provided Israel.
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, revealed The New York Times.