December 6, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Continues to Arm Israel as IDF Discovers Large Hamas Weapons Depot

December 6, 2023 | Flash Brief

U.S. Continues to Arm Israel as IDF Discovers Large Hamas Weapons Depot

Latest Developments

Israeli forces on December 6 announced the discovery of a large Hamas weapons depot in the northern Gaza Strip. The weapons, found near a clinic and a school, include hundreds of rocket-propelled grenades and launchers as well as dozens of anti-tank missiles, explosives, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The discovery comes as the United States continues to send weapons to Israel to help it fight Hamas. U.S. deliveries include roughly 15,000 bombs since Hamas’s horrific October 7 attack, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The bombs sent include more than 5,000 Mk82 500-pound bombs, more than 5,400 Mk84 2,000-pound bombs, around 1,000 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs, and approximately 3,000 Joint Direct Attack Munition guidance kits, which convert unguided bombs into precision-guided munitions. Also included are 100 BLU-109 2,000-pound bunker busters, which Israel could use to destroy deep Hamas tunnels and bunkers that other munitions cannot reach.

Expert Analysis

“Following the atrocities of October 7, the United States should continue to provide Israel the time, space, and tools necessary to deprive Hamas of the means of murder. Withholding precise U.S. munitions from Israel would be a gift to Hamas and its terror patron in Tehran and would make Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian casualties more difficult. Curtailing U.S. support for Israel risks prolonging the war, thereby increasing civilian suffering.” — Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

“The delivery of bunker-busting munitions will help Israel target the Hamas leaders responsible for starting this war, who are hiding beneath the women and children they purportedly seek to protect. Congress should move quickly to provide additional funding for Israel to ensure that important security assistance continues to flow.” — Ryan Brobst, FDD Senior Research Analyst

Hamas Use of Tunnels

Hamas uses these tunnels to shelter its fighters, store weapons, and hold hostages. The tunnels frequently run under apartment buildings and even hospitals, violating international law. Hamas diverted concrete and other materials meant for civilian projects to build their tunnels, which are often outfitted with electricity and telephone lines. Destroying these tunnels and the fighters in them is a major goal of Israel’s current campaign.

Previous Deliveries

The Biden administration has also sent a variety of other weapons to Israel, including Spice guidance kits, Hellfire missiles, 155mm artillery shells, Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, night vision devices, and two Iron Dome batteries and their accompanying Tamir interceptors. There is little overlap between the weapons provided to Israel and those committed to other beleaguered democracies, such as Ukraine and Taiwan, with the notable exception of 155mm artillery shells. U.S. stocks had already been drawn to low levels to provide over two million shells to Ukraine. However, Israel has requested only 57,000 shells, which are being returned to Israel.

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

U.S. Continues to Send Weapons to Israel to Combat Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

10 Things to Know About Hamas Tunnels,” FDD Insight


Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power