The United States has allowed Israel, waging an offensive in the Gaza Strip, to tap a local US arms stockpile in the past week to resupply it with grenades and mortar rounds, a US defense official said yesterday.
The munitions were located inside Israel as part of a program managed by the US military and called War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I), which stores munitions locally for US use that Israel can also access in emergency situations.
Israel, however, did not cite an emergency when it made its latest request about 10 days ago, the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Additional Israeli requests for US-manufactured ammunition were also being processed in the United States, the official said. The official did not offer further details on quantities or costs of ammunition already supplied or requested.
Israel's embassy in Washington declined comment about the resupply request, including whether it asked for the ammunition because of its operations in Gaza.
Separately, US lawmakers were working in Congress to provide millions of dollars in additional funding for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile shield.
The US Senate Appropriations Committee added $225 million for Iron Dome to a spending bill intended mainly to provide money to handle an influx of thousands of Central American children across the U.S.-Mexico border.