Artillery shells "M107. (Shutterstock)

During the last week of November, several press reports referred to documents with data on the materiel that Israel had requested from the US for its war in Gaza, and what is noteworthy, according to Pentagon Deputy Spokesperson Sabrina Singh, is that the provision of assistance to Israel is currently taking place (1) "through mechanisms that are very different from the way assistance was provided to Ukraine." On the one hand, the administration does not disclose the list of weapons it sends to Israel, and more importantly, it is pushing for authority to bypass the requirements for congressional notification before arms imports, which apply to every other country that receives foreign military funding, moves that have aroused much suspicion even among the president's Democratic supporters.

Destruction of cities


But perhaps if we look at these weapons with some scrutiny, we will realize some of the hidden reasons for these political maneuvers, take the example of the most numerous of these weapons in the aforementioned document, where (1) the Israeli government requests more than 57,155 <>mm shells.

The main type of these projectiles is the "M107", which are highly explosive fragmentation shells used by some artillery weapons (2), and their range reaches about 18-19 kilometers, and they are a large hollow steel shell filled with explosives that can cause significant damage when exploded, because they produce a strong shock wave that can destroy buildings and vehicles, as well as they are designed to fragment and spread into several pieces, and spread over a wide area, harming or killing anyone nearby (3), (4).

(Al Jazeera)

This projectile can produce approximately 1950,1000 fragments when detonated, and the fragmentation distance depends on several factors such as angle of fall, terrain and weather, but on average the range of fragments can reach more than <>,<> meters from the detonation site, at all angles.

The biggest problem is that this projectile is less accurate and effective than some newer types of projectiles (and therefore cheaper), and is usually replaced for the M-795 class in the US military, but many other countries still use it, and these shells have been received by Ukraine and the Israeli occupation state before, as the occupying power (5) in particular requested 300,61 such shells last August, in a contract worth $ <> million.

White phosphorus


Simply put, the use of such shells in an urban area can kill unarmed civilians indiscriminately, and this is what the occupying power is already doing, in addition to that, there is another important use of this type of shell that has been observed before since the two wars in Lebanon in 1982-2006, where the Israeli occupation army used 155 mm artillery shells and 120 mm mortar shells (of which Israel also requests several hundred currently) to fire white phosphorus (6). Shell type 155 mm on 116 pieces of felt soaked in phosphorus.

When the shell is detonated, the felt comes out of the shell shell and is scattered over a wide area, and with exposure to oxygen ignites and burns everything in an area estimated at a football field, white phosphorus causes very painful burns from the second to the third degree, especially that white phosphorus dissolves easily in fat, and may be easily absorbed through the skin and into the body, where it can cause other serious symptoms that can lead to death due to damage to the kidneys, liver and heart (7).

From the above, you can understand why it is internationally forbidden to use phosphorous bombs in war according to international laws and treaties, as the product of these bombs does not differentiate between soldiers participating in the war and civilians, because they can kill people over a large area inside cities between residential buildings, and this is indeed what happens in the case of Gaza.

It is noteworthy that during a number of previous wars of the occupying power, all (8) white phosphorus shells found by human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch in Gaza were of the same type, and manufactured in the United States of America.

War crimes

The heavy bombardment of Gaza with US-made bombs contradicts heavy political statements by US officials about "not targeting civilians" and "the priority of preserving their lives." (Anatolia)

For example, the "principle of distinction" in international law states that parties to a conflict must distinguish between civilians and civilian objects on the one hand, and combatants and military objectives on the other, and there is also the principle of "proportionality", which states that attacks must be proportionate to the military gains achieved from them without causing undue damage.

But as it seems since the beginning of the war, the occupying power is clearly violating these principles, in this context the US "arms export control" law intervenes, which limits the scope of use of weapons supplied to them by the United States, but the heavy bombing of Gaza with American-made bombs, of course, completely contradicts this law, and of course contradicts the dense political statements of US officials about "not targeting civilians" and "the priority of preserving their lives."

With bombs of this kind, unarmed civilians are not immune to bombing, and Biden before Netanyahu knows that. Of course, the legal aspects have long ropes, and the Americans and Israelis will try to prolong the legal conflicts as usual to reach a gray obscure point without a horizon, but it is likely that what happened during the current war on Gaza – according to political analysts – will put the relationship between the two countries in a state of volatility in the future, and will raise great concern in the corridors of American politics domestically.

Thousands of weapons

(Al Jazeera)

Israel also requests (9) a number of other weapons from the arsenal of the United States of America, most notably 2000 precision Hellfire laser-guided missiles for Apache warplanes, and 36,30 141mm rounds for the aircraft itself, and the main task of the Hellfire missiles is to penetrate the forts, in addition to that Israel requests three thousand M<> shoulder-fired missiles, an anti-fortified body weapon launched from a disposable rocket launcher.

In addition, Israel is requesting 200 Switchblade-600 drones, which contain a set of cameras and infrared sensors along with a warhead, and can target hideouts and open forces.

Israel will also take back the two Iron Dome batteries it previously sold to the U.S. military, as well as 312 Tamir interceptors, and the batteries have already been shipped to Israel by sea. Israel is also requesting 75 "<> by four" "light armored tactical vehicles" to replace the Humvees, which the U.S. military will use to transport soldiers to the battlefield.

(Al Jazeera)

Difficult progress

For example, the heavy demand for equipment to penetrate fortified areas could be evidence of the problems facing the occupation army in urban tasks, as it cannot advance easily inside the city, prompting it to intensify the hitting of buildings.

This also indicates that the occupying power may have lost an "alarming" amount of its arsenal (especially missiles and rockets) due to its heavy use of weapons during the operation, and has been forced to seek support from the United States. This is also evident in the occupation's demand for more armored light tactical vehicles, which could perhaps compensate for the large losses in the Tiger armored vehicles, especially when we know that Israel has begun to use the Eitan troop carrier to work with Israeli armored vehicles such as the Nimr, and Eitan is an armored fighting vehicle based on the technologies used in the Merkava series of tanks and Tiger armored vehicles, a newly developed version used for the first time. However, Eitan is an 8-wheeled vehicle much lighter than a Nimr, which is by far cheaper than it is, and may have been used because of the high cost of using a tiger and destroying it by resistance forces.

As for the recovery of Iron Dome batteries now (albeit planned earlier) may indicate Israeli fears of missile strikes coming from several sides; Gaza, Syria, southern Lebanon, and the new party that recently joined the battle, the Houthi group in Yemen.

In light of the above, the most important conclusion remains that the ground operation on Gaza was not as easy as the Israelis expected, and despite the large difference in equipment and numbers, the resistance apparently slowed their advance significantly, forcing them to consume too many expensive weapons only to penetrate a narrow 25-kilometer strip north of the besieged, steadfast, and resistant enclave.



1- Revealed: The Munitions U.S. Supplied Israel for Gaza War

2- US Is Quietly Sending Israel More Ammunition, Missiles

3- US Projectile, 155mm HE, M107

4- 155mm M107 Projectile

5- Israel orders tens of thousands of 155mm artillery shells from Elbit

6- Rain of Fire Israel's Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza

7- White phosphorus- Key Facts

8- Rain of Fire Israel's Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza

9- US Is Quietly Sending Israel More Ammunition, Missiles

Source : Al Jazeera