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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Israel requests $65 million in bombs and parts from U.S.

Is this all the rearmament that Israel is doing after the Lebanon war?
Last update - 08:45 21/04/2007   
By Reuters

The Bush administration announced on Friday the first officially disclosed sale of U.S. military equipment to Israel since the end of the Second Lebanon War this past summer.
In a notice to Congress, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Israel had requested as many as 3,500 MK-84 "general purpose" bombs, spares and repair parts plus U.S. government technical assistance in a deal worth up to $65 million if all options are exercised.
General Dynamics Corp. would be the prime contractor. Such congressional notices are required by law for sales that meet certain thresholds, and do not mean a sale has been concluded.
"Israel's strategic position makes it vital to the United States' interests throughout the Middle East," the notice said.
It said U.S. policy has been to promote peace in the Middle East, support the Israeli commitment to peace with its Arab neighbors, enhance regional stability and promote Israeli readiness and self-sufficiency.
"It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Israel in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability," the Pentagon added.
The last notification of a proposed sale to Israel meeting public disclosure requirements occurred July 14, two days after the start of the 2006 Lebanon war, and involved a sale of JP-8 aviation jet fuel worth up to $210 million.
On Jan. 29, the State Department said Israel "likely" violated an agreement with Washington in its use of U.S.-made cluster bombs during its war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.
A U.S. investigation began after reports that three types of U.S.-origin cluster munitions were found in southern Lebanon and were responsible for civilian deaths. Israel has said it deployed such arms in accordance with international law.
In a separate notice to Congress on Friday, the Pentagon disclosed a proposed sale to Turkey of MK-54 torpedoes and related equipment valued at up to $105 million.

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