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US asks Israel to send arms to Ukraine

January 26, 2023 at 11:24 am

Members of a Ukrainian artillery unit, reload equipment and ammunition into a M109 self propelled artillery unit in Donetsk Region, Ukraine. [Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images]

The United States has asked Israel to send American arms stored in the country since 1973 to Ukraine as part of the war effort against Russia, US and Israeli officials have revealed. South Korea has received a similar request.

Last week, the New York Times reported the officials as saying that US arms manufacturers are unable to keep up with the pace of Ukraine’s battlefield operations. This has prompted the Pentagon to ask South Korea and Israel to send the unused stockpiles of US weapons.

Israel had initially refused to send any military supplies to Ukraine in order not to anger Russia, explained the New York Times.

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According to a senior US official, “The US has so far sent or pledged to send Ukraine just over one million 155 millimetre shells. A sizable portion of that — though less than half — has come from the stockpiles in Israel and South Korea.”

Two senior Israeli officials, it was reported, said that the US has promised Israel it will replenish what it takes from the warehouses and will ship ammunition immediately in a serious emergency.

When former Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz was asked about the US request to send the arms to Ukraine, the then Prime Minister Yair Lapid approved it at the end of a cabinet discussion.

Israel was allowed to use the stockpiled American munitions during its war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah in 2006 and again during its offensive against the Gaza Strip in 2014, a Congressional Research Service report released in February 2022 revealed.

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