The US can deliver Iron Dome ammunition to help Israel deal with Hamas

President Biden's administration is said to be considering transferring Iron Dome missiles and artillery shells to Israel to deal with Hamas.

White House officials on the evening of October 8 met with leaders of the US House of Representatives to discuss measures to increase support for Israel after the Hamas attack on the country's territory, CNN quoted three sources as saying .

At the meeting, officials from the US Department of State and Department of Defense told lawmakers that they were moving as quickly as possible to transfer weapons and resources to support Israel in dealing with Hamas, according to the agreement reached by the two countries. signed.

The weapons that will be transferred by the US in the near future include Tamir missiles for the Iron Dome air defense system to deal with Hamas rockets. Sources say Israel's Tamir ammunition stockpile may remain secure in the short term, but the country will likely need more supplies from the US if the fighting drags on. The Israeli army may also need more artillery shells if it launches a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip.

The Iron Dome system (left) fired to intercept Hamas rockets targeting the city of Ashkelon on October 8. Photo: Reuters

The US Washington Post on October 8 also cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter as saying that Tel Aviv has made a series of specific aid requests to Washington, including replenishing its stockpile of Tamir missiles, small guided bombs (SDB), machine gun ammunition and increased cooperation in sharing intelligence related to military operations in southern Lebanon.

Unnamed officials said that US President Joe Biden's administration also plans to add additional money to the Israeli government in its budget proposal sent to Congress, in addition to new aid to Ukraine.

The information was given in the context that US officials said the Israeli army could deploy ground troops into the Gaza Strip within the next 24-48 hours. Iron Dome system's proposal to supply Tamir missiles seems to be a move to prevent future Hamas shelling, not a sign that Israel's stockpile is running out.

Requesting weapons aid such as SDB bombs and infantry ammunition is a preparation for a multi-week campaign, as well as taking into account the risk of conflict with other countries and forces in the region. America's dense spy network in the Middle East can support Israeli intelligence in its efforts to deal with the activities of Iranian-backed militia groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The US and Israel have signed an agreement on the use of "two-way" military supplies. Defense officials said the United States previously withdrew 155 mm artillery shells from Israel's stockpile to supply Ukraine. Withdrawing missile ammunition for the Iron Dome system from US stockpiles could be a similar move.

The Israeli Embassy in the US declined to comment on the information. "We will not comment on military needs being discussed with the US," an Israeli embassy spokesman said.

Overview of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Graphics: CNN

Hamas, the armed group that controls the Gaza Strip, announced on October 7 that it launched more than 5,000 rockets and conducted a coordinated raid by land, paragliding in the air, and by sea against Israel. Hamas officials emphasized that the campaign originated from Tel Aviv's "escalating attacks" against Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem and in Israeli prisons.

The Israeli military reported that about 3,000 projectiles were directed toward its territory, some of which passed through the Iron Dome system and crashed into targets in many urban areas, including the city of Tel Aviv.

The Israeli Air Force then launched a large-scale airstrike campaign on the Gaza Strip in response, while the infantry gathered forces to prepare for a major counterattack. The clashes have so far left at least 700 Israeli civilians and soldiers dead, while Gaza officials say the death toll in the strip has risen to more than 400.

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