Exclusive: US Intelligence Assessment Reveals Almost 50% of Israeli Munitions Dropped on Gaza are Inaccurate ‘Dumb Bombs’
A US intelligence assessment reports that nearly half of Israel’s air-to-ground munitions used in its war with Hamas in Gaza since October 7 have been unguided or “dumb bombs”. The use of these less precise munitions, which pose a greater threat to civilians, may be contributing to the high civilian death toll in the densely populated Gaza. This comes amid a growing rift between Israel and the US, with the Biden administration urging Israel to be more precise and deliberate in its targeting, however, refusing to place conditions on the military aid it is providing to the country.
CNN reports on Israel’s Use of Unguided Munitions in Conflict with Hamas
A new US intelligence assessment claims that Israel has been making extensive use of unguided or “dumb bombs” in Gaza war with Hamas since October 7. These unguided munitions, accounting for nearly half of Israel’s air-to-ground armament, present a greater risk to civilians.
The assessment, provided by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, indicates roughly 40-45% of the 29,000 munitions employed by Israel lack precise guidance. The remainder are precision-guided. The high use of these “dumb bombs” is linked to the escalating civilian death toll in Gaza.
President Joe Biden previously criticized Israel for alleged “indiscriminate bombing” in Gaza. However, Israeli spokespersons maintain that their military effort is focused on Hamas, not Gaza’s civilian population.
Clip from Inside Gaza
Get a firsthand glimpse into the situation in Gaza with this video report by CNN’s Clarissa Ward.
US-Israel Relations Strained over Gaza Conflict
These revelations come amid heightened tensions between the US and Israel regarding the conduct of the latter’s operations in Gaza. The conflict was prompted by Hamas’s killing of more than 1,200 Israelis on October 7, leading to a rise in international censure of Israel. Interestingly, the US, despite refusing to support calls for ceasefire, urges Israel to take more precaution to avoid civilian casualties.
Former UN military analyst, Marc Garlasco, highlights the dangers of using unguided munitions in densely populated areas like Gaza. He asserts the Israelis “should want to use the most precise weapon that they possibly can in such a densely populated area.”
It remains unclear which unguided munitions Israel has been using. However, the US has supplied Israel with unguided munitions like Mk82 bombs, and systems to convert these into guided weaponry. Despite this, the US continues to call on Israel to execute more precise and deliberate targeting in Gaza.
Regardless of increasing calls to condition military aid to Israel on their protection of civilians, the Biden administration currently has no plans to place such conditions on its support. A US official disclosed that quiet pressure on Israel to change its tactics has proven more effective than threats to withhold weapons.
This report will be updated as more information comes in.
Contributors to this article include CNN’s Kevin Liptak, Alex Marquardt and Michael Williams.
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