November 18, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Continues to Send Weapons to Israel to Combat Hamas

November 18, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Continues to Send Weapons to Israel to Combat Hamas

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said November 17 that there was still “work to be completed” to dismantle Hamas’s military capabilities and infrastructure in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF’s continued operations will increase the need for weapons from the United States, which the Biden administration continues to send. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dana Stroul said on November 8 that “Deliveries are taking place on a near daily basis.” Those include “laser-guided missiles for its Apache gunship fleet, as well as 155mm shells, night-vision devices, bunker-buster munitions and new army vehicles,” according to Bloomberg, citing a Pentagon statement.

Expert Analysis

“The evolving list of weapons the United States is sending to Israel reflects changing military needs as the Israel Defense Forces has transitioned from a campaign focused primarily on airstrikes and air defense to one involving significant ground warfare.” — Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

“Congress should move quickly to provide additional funding for Israel, as well as for Ukraine, and Taiwan. A failure to do so will weaken Washington’s beleaguered democratic partners confronting common adversaries, damaging U.S. national security.” — Ryan Brobst, FDD Senior Research Analyst

Evolving Weapons Deliveries for Israel

Weapons, munitions, equipment, and vehicles requested by Israel include 2,000 Hellfire missiles, 400 120mm mortars, 3,000 M141 bunker defeat munitions, 5,000 PVS-14 night vision devices, 20,000 M4A1 carbines, 75 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs), 36,000 30mm rounds, and 57,000 155mm artillery shells, according to Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio. All of the 30mm rounds, 1,800 of the night vision devices, and 1,800 bunker defeat munitions had been delivered as of late October.

The Pentagon is using several avenues to ensure Israel gets the aid it has requested, including expediting pre-existing commercial sales and transferring weapons from U.S. stockpiles, with a portion possibly coming from the stockpile in Israel. Notably, thousands of 155mm rounds stored in the stockpile in Israel were sent to Europe following Putin’s massive invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Now, the United States is sending 155mm rounds back to Israel. 

Previous Military Aid

The Biden administration previously committed multiple other weapons systems to Israel including two Iron Dome batteries and its accompanying Tamir interceptors — both from U.S. Army stocks. The Pentagon also sent Israel 1,800 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs), and Spice guidance kits. Israel needs Iron Dome batteries and Tamir interceptors to intercept the thousands of rockets that Hamas has fired at Israeli cities thus far in the conflict, and to prepare for a potential conflict with the much better armed Lebanon-based Hezbollah, which has an estimated arsenal of more than 150,000 missiles and rockets.

Israel also needs precision-guided munitions (JDAMs, SDBs, and Spice kits) to attack Hamas targets while minimizing civilian casualties, as well as to restock Israel’s arsenal so that the IDF is prepared if the conflict expands. However, Congress has still failed to act on the supplemental appropriations the Biden administration requested on October 20.

Can the U.S. Arm Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan at the Same Time?” By Ryan Brobst and Bradley Bowman

U.S. Approves Sale of Precision Guided Munitions to Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Hezbollah Terror Sites in Lebanon,” FDD Flash Brief


Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power U.S. Defense Policy and Strategy