Which bombs has the United States stopped shipping to Israel?


UNITED STATES – The United States has halted the shipment of some types of heavy bombs to Israel and US President Joe Biden has also pledged to halt the supply of some offensive weapons and artillery shells to the country if it goes ahead with its assault on Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah. Biden issued this warning, possibly his starkest yet against Israel, during an interview with CNN on Wednesday. In the same interview, he also said that the US would continue to supply defensive arms such as Iron Dome interceptors, underlining his continued support for Israel’s defence.
US officials said on Wednesday that the US had paused a shipment of heavy bombs, including 1,800 of 2,000-pound (907kg) bombs and 1,700 of 500-pound (227kg) bombs. The Washington-based news outlet Politico reported that the weapons held back also include Boeing’s Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which are guidance kits that convert “dumb” bombs dropped in free-fall, ballistic trajectory into precision-guided ones.
These weapons had been included in an earlier shipment for Israel, approved before the recent supplemental aid package authorised by the US Congress in April, which assigned $26.38bn for Israel, including $9.1bn for humanitarian purposes.
At a US Senate hearing on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the US is reviewing near-term security assistance to Israel in the context of Israel’s ongoing attacks on Rafah. “We’ve been very clear…from the very beginning that Israel shouldn’t launch a major attack into Rafah without accounting for and protecting the civilians that are in that battle space,” Austin said.
On explosion, a 500-pound bomb can severely harm or kill everything or anyone within a 20-metre (65 feet) radius. A 2,000-pound bomb has a destruction radius of 35 metres (115 feet), according to the Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA), which conducts defence policy research and analysis.
Depending on the type of surfaces it hits, a 500-pound bomb can create a crater of, on average, 25 feet (7.6 metres) across and 8.5 feet (2.6 metres) deep. A 2000-pound bomb will carve out a crater 50 feet (15 metres) across and 16 feet (5 metres), according to the PDA.
A 2015 report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says of the 2000-pound bomb: “The pressure from the explosion can rupture lungs, burst sinus cavities and tear off limbs hundreds of metres from the blast site.”
Israeli forces used 2,000-pound bombs on the Jabalia refugee camp on October 31, according to analysis by The Guardian and The New York Times. Two impact craters estimated to be 40 feet (12 metres) wide were identified. (Al jazeera)…[+]