Sep 21, 2:19 AM (ET)
JERUSALEM (AP) - The United States will sell Israel nearly 5,000 smart bombs in one of the largest weapons deals between the allies in years, the Haaretz newspaper reported Tuesday.
The deal could face political controversy since Israel has used such bombs in fighting with the Palestinians, the daily said. In one such instance in July 2002, a one-ton bomb meant for a senior Palestinian militant also killed 15 civilians in an attack in the Gaza Strip.
The deal is worth $319 million and was revealed in a Pentagon report made to the U.S. Congress a few weeks ago, Haaretz said. Funding for the sale will come from the U.S. military aid to Israel.
The bombs include airborne versions, guidance units, training bombs and detonators. The bombs are guided by an existing Israeli satellite used by the military.
As part of the deal, Israel will receive 500 one-ton bombs that can destroy two-yard concrete walls, 2,500 one-ton bombs, 1,000 half-ton bombs and 500 quarter-ton bombs, the daily said.
The Pentagon wants through the deal to maintain Israel's military advantages and ensure U.S. strategic and tactical interests, Haaretz said.
In addition to American bombs, Israel has used U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets in several killings of senior Palestinian militants whom Israel accused of overseeing attacks in the four years of fighting.
Moghrabi: Do they really need 1 ton bombs to kill stone throwers?????