update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Pentagon transferring arms stationed in Israel to Ukraine—report

The stockpile of weapons and ammunition is normally reserved for the U.S. to use in Middle East conflicts.

IDF Artillery Corps near the border with Syria in the Golan Heights, Jan. 2, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.
IDF Artillery Corps near the border with Syria in the Golan Heights, Jan. 2, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.

The Pentagon is dipping into a store of American ammunition in Israel to help Ukraine replenish its dwindling supply of artillery shells, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

“With stockpiles in the United States strained and American arms makers not yet able to keep up with the pace of Ukraine’s battlefield operations, the Pentagon has turned to two alternative supplies of shells to bridge the gap: one in South Korea and the one in Israel,” the Times reported, citing Israeli and American officials.

While intended for U.S. military use in the Middle East, Israel is permitted to access the stockpile during emergencies.

“Artillery constitutes the backbone of ground combat firepower for both Ukraine and Russia, and the war’s outcome may hinge on which side runs out of ammunition first, military analysts say,” the Times reported.

Ukraine has largely expended its Soviet-era munitions and switched over to artillery donated by the U.S. and other western powers.

Israeli officials said that Jerusalem hasn’t changed its policy of only providing Ukraine with humanitarian aid.

“Based on a U.S. request, certain equipment was transferred to the U.S. D.O.D. [Department of Defense] from its stockpiles” in Israel, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

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