Nearly three years ago, Congress gave Israel a pass to stockpile precision-guided bombs “without regard to annual limits.” An inside source confirms that even more have been transferred since October 7.

by Ari Tolany, Lillian Mauldin, Janet Abou-Elias, and Women for Weapons Trade Transparency, In These Times

The United States has had the authority to quietly transfer precision-guided munitions, or PGMs, to Israel for the past three years through a little-noticed provision passed by Congress in January 2021.

Section 1275 of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows a limitless transfer of PGMs from U.S. reserve stocks to Israel’s stockpile without normal congressional notifications, as long as U.S ​combat readiness” isn’t compromised.

PGMs — which include any guided missile designed to hit an extremely precise target — have been an Israeli weapon of choice in the massive and deadly bombardment that has destroyed an estimated 98,000 buildings in Gaza and reportedly killed more than 15,000 Palestinians. Satellite-guided bombs (a type of PGM) of between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds made up about 90% of the weapons the Israeli military used in the first two weeks after October 7.

israel bombs apartment buildings in gaza

While PGM’s advanced targeting is billed as a way to avoid civilian harm, they have been linked to many strikes by Israel and other U.S. allies on densely populated areas, including on Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp. A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) admitted to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that they struck the camp knowing the area was crowded with civilians.

President Joe Biden says that the United States has been ​surging additional military assistance” to Israel since October 7. But government reporting on the details of that assistance has been sporadic and opaque.

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