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US moved ammunition stored in Israel for use by Ukraine



CNN

The United States has transferred US munitions stored in Israel for use in Ukraine and plans to send more soon, US and Israeli officials told CNN on Wednesday.

A US official told CNN they had moved “some” of the 300,000 155mm shells that the US and Israel had agreed would be transferred, and that the rest were planned to be moved to the coming weeks.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Richard Hecht told CNN that the Americans notified the Israelis some time ago that they were transferring munitions. Hecht said the munitions belong to the United States, that their movements are “an American affair” and that they do not need Israeli permission to move the munitions.

The New York Times reported for the first time that the US military was drawing from its stockpile of ammunition stored in Israel for use in Ukraine, noting that Israeli officials had initially expressed “concerns about appearing complicit in arming the ‘Ukraine’.

Israel toed a nice diplomatic line during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While Israeli leaders have condemned the invasion, backed Ukraine at the United Nations, sent humanitarian aid and welcomed refugees, Israel has drawn a hard line on sending military aid, citing its own sensitivities in matters of security. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before taking office in late December that he would review Israel’s policy on Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The strain over arms stockpiles — and the ability of America’s industrial base to meet demand — is one of the key challenges facing the Biden administration as the United States continues to send billions of dollars of weapons to Ukraine to support its fight against Russia. CNN previously reported that a US official said stocks of some systems were “running down” after months of sending supplies to Kyiv during the high-intensity war, as there was “a limited amount” of excess inventory that the United States could send.

CNN reported in November that the United States intended to purchase 100,000 artillery rounds from South Korean arms manufacturers to supply to Ukraine as part of a broader effort to find weapons available for the high intensity battles taking place in Ukraine.

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