Israel Used U.S. Bombs to Kill Dozens of Civilians in Rafah, Experts Reveal

Israel Used U.S. Bombs to Kill Dozens of Civilians in Rafah, Experts Reveal
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Accord­ing to weapons experts and visu­al evi­dence, the bombs used in a dead­ly Israeli strike on a dis­placed per­sons camp in Rafah, Gaza, were iden­ti­fied as U.S.-made GBU-39 muni­tions. The strike killed at least 45 Pales­tini­ans and wound­ed 240 more, spark­ing inter­na­tion­al outcry.

The debris from the strike, filmed by a Pales­tin­ian jour­nal­ist, showed frag­ments bear­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing num­ber “81873”, iden­ti­fy­ing them as made by U.S. aero­space com­pa­ny Wood­ward. A for­mer U.S. Army explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al tech­ni­cian con­firmed the unique design of the GBU-39 bomb.

The U.S. had been push­ing Israel to use the GBU-39, claim­ing it was more pre­cise and bet­ter suit­ed for urban envi­ron­ments than larg­er bombs. How­ev­er, the strike hit a camp for dis­placed Pales­tini­ans, with tents and shel­ters ignit­ed by the blast.

Israeli offi­cials stat­ed the strike tar­get­ed two Hamas lead­ers, insist­ing the bombs would not have caused such wide­spread destruc­tion. But the Biden admin­is­tra­tion warned that a full-fledged offen­sive in Rafah would cross a “red line”, even as it has not stopped Israel’s advances.

The rev­e­la­tions about the U.S.-made bombs used under­score the com­plex dynam­ics between Wash­ing­ton and its ally Israel. While the U.S. has advo­cat­ed for more pre­cise muni­tions, the dead­ly con­se­quences in Rafah have prompt­ed renewed scruti­ny over the mil­i­tary sup­port pro­vid­ed to Israel. The inci­dent high­lights the need for greater account­abil­i­ty and over­sight when it comes to the use of Amer­i­can-sup­plied weapons.

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