The Wall Street Journal published details about the White House’s secretive arms transfers to Israel since October 7. The US has provided Israel with 57,000 artillery shells and 15,000 bombs, including over 5,000 with 2,000-pound warheads.
According to a list of weapons obtained by the Journal, the US has shipped Israel “more than 5,000 Mk82 unguided or ‘dumb’ bombs, more than 5,400 Mk84 2,000-pound warhead bombs, around 1,000 GBU-39 small diameter bombs, and approximately 3,000 JDAMs.”
The US has additionally shipped 57,000 155 MM shells to Israel. NBC News previously reported in October that Washington sent Tel Aviv artillery rounds that are cluster munitions.
Mick Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and officer in the Marine Corps, described the weapons as those the US would use in non-urban areas. “They are kind of the weapons of choice for the fights we had in Afghanistan and Syria in open, non-urban areas,” he said. “The US may use them in more urban areas, but first it would do a lot of target analysis to make sure the attack was proportional and based on military necessity.”
By contrast, Gaza is about 140 sqare miles and home to 2.3 million people—one of the most densely packed regions on earth. Additionally, Israel has relied on an AI program to rapidly generate lists of suspected low-level Hamas members to target, without respect to civilians in proximity.
The Israeli policy has led to the widespread devastation of Gaza. At least 15,000 civilians have been killed. The number of dead Palestinian children exceeds the number of Hamas fighters Israel has claimed to kill by many thousands. Nearly 100,000 buildings in Gaza have been damaged by Israel’s bombing campaign, including the destruction of universities, hospitals, schools, and entire residential neighborhoods.
On Saturday, the New York Times reported that Israel was killing civilians in Gaza at a “historic pace.” The outlet added that part of the explanation for the huge death toll was Tel Aviv’s willingness to drop 2,000-pound American-made bombs on various civilian centers.
Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon analyst who advises the Dutch organization PAX, told the Times that he’s never seen anything like it. “It’s beyond anything that I’ve seen in my career,” he said. Garlasco added that to find a historical comparison for so many large bombs in such a small area, one would have to “go back to Vietnam or the Second World War.”