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January 10, 2009

U.S. Sending 3,000 Tons Of Weaponry To Israel

Merchants of War:

U.S. seeks ship to move arms to Israel

LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show.

The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as "ammunition" on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.

A "hazardous material" designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.

"Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot," one broker said, on condition of anonymity.

The rest.

Via KitKat's Critique, which points out Ashdod is less than 20 miles from Gaza.

For my part, I hope Hamas refuses to discuss any ceasefire that doesn't include a complete, UN-verified blockade of weaponry shipments to Israel.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 10, 2009 06:49 PM

Oh, we do much more than send Israel weapons. Gareth Porter wrote this in the Asia Times Jan 7, 2009.

WASHINGTON - Until mid-2007, there was a serious political obstacle to a massive conventional war by Israel against Hamas in Gaza: the fact that Hamas had won free and fair elections for the Palestinian parliament and was still the leading faction in a fully legitimate government.

But the George W Bush administration helped Israel eliminate that obstacle, by deliberately provoking Hamas to seize power. That plan was aimed at getting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the democratically elected Hamas government - something Bush had tried unsuccessfully to do for many months.


The plan, dated March 2, 2007, called for Abbas to "start taking necessary action against groups undermining the ceasefire with the goal of ensuring all armed groups within Palestine security institutions in stages [between 2007 and 2008] ...". It promised to help Abbas to "impose necessary order on the Palestinian street" through "superiority" of Fatah forces over Hamas, after which there would be new elections in autumn 2007.

Again that US plan was kept secret but leaked in April 2007 by the Jordanian newspaper al-Majd. That could only have happened if Jordanian intelligence services, which cooperative very closely with the United States, made the decision to leak it to the press.

Then, on June 7, 2007, the Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz revealed that Israel had been asked to authorize the shipment of dozens of Egyptian armored cars and hundreds of rockets and thousands of hand grenades for the Fatah security forces.

The leaked plans for a military buildup were an open invitation to Hamas to take preemptive action. The day after the Ha'aretz story, Hamas launched a campaign which eliminated the Fatah security presence in Gaza in five days.

The day after the complete defeat of Dahlan's forces in Gaza, Abbas dissolved the Haniyeh unity government and named his own prime minister, in violation of the Palestinian charter.

The rout of Dahlan's forces was a predictable consequence of the Bush administration's policy. As the commander of Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Khalid Jaberi, told Vanity Fair's David Rose, "We can only conclude that having Hamas in control serves [the Bush administration's] overall strategy, because their policy was so crazy otherwise."

But the Bush administration had not only accomplished its goal of eliminating a Hamas-dominated government; it had also set up a new argument that could later be used to justify an all-out Israeli offensive in Gaza: that Hamas had mounted an "illegal coup" in Gaza. That was the term that Rice used on January 2 in justifying the Israeli operations against Gaza.

Posted by: Rob Payne at January 10, 2009 08:10 PM

Thank you, Jonathan.
I'm off to rest my hands from typing; it's nice to see the word & calls to action getting out at the end of this spurt. Thanks much.

Posted by: Katie at January 10, 2009 08:14 PM

We did the exact same thing while they were bombing Lebanon - while the rest of the world is decrying the violence, the US is rushing to make sure Israel doesn't run out of munitions.

Meanwhile, Forbes published this:

Posted by: saurabh at January 10, 2009 08:29 PM

I guess if you look for Forbes in your local library you will find it in the fiction stacks.

Posted by: Rob Payne at January 10, 2009 10:51 PM

I agree that Hamas should not discuss a ceasefire. Although perhaps they should discuss unconditional surrender.

Posted by: Fritz at January 10, 2009 10:52 PM

Well, probably these weapons and munitions are some of what the Israelis spend that $3Billion/Mo in aid we supply 'em with...

Nuthin' poisonal, Carmine. Just bidness...

Posted by: woody at January 11, 2009 11:08 AM

woody: Now YOU got me wondering if WE just GAVE it to them on top of the 3 billion. (ya know Congress and the Administration ARE in a generous giving mood with OUR money these dazy)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 11, 2009 12:50 PM

Does Condi get the commission off this deal or does Hillary get the commission off this deal?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 11, 2009 12:53 PM

Maybe they could ship it up "Pirate Alley" and filter it to "The Right Guys" (those guys the Palestinians should have voted for) that way.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 11, 2009 12:57 PM

Below is from your posted link Mr Schwarz.

"The Jerusalem Post, citing defense officials, reported last week that a first shipment of the missiles had arrived in early December and they were used in penetrating Hamas's underground rocket launcher sites."

Statement below taken from the following Reuter's wire.

"This previously scheduled shipment is routine and not in support of the current situation in Gaza."

"US says arms shipment to Israel not linked to Gaza"

US govt, Israeli govt and the newspaper are not communicating!!!

Posted by: Rupa Shah at January 11, 2009 03:45 PM

May be the shipment has "White Phosporus Bombs" which are being replenished! That is why the A "hazardous material" designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.

"Rights group: Israel uses incendiary bombs in Gaza."

Posted by: Rupa Shah at January 11, 2009 10:38 PM

The solution to the problem is to be more even-handed. Send the Palestinians the same amount of weaponry and let the problem solve itself.

Posted by: TobyG at January 12, 2009 08:39 AM

Has anyone checked to see if the SS Lusitania II is available?

Posted by: meshugga at January 12, 2009 03:04 PM


Posted by: soittoäänet at January 13, 2009 01:10 AM