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As the dust settles over Gaza, the reverberations of the Israeli offensive, backed by a staggering $3.8 billion in annual U.S. military aid, echo globally. This aid forms the backbone of a sophisticated arsenal, further bolstered by a $14.3 billion war package requested by the Biden administration. These figures are not just numbers; they represent a lifeline of armaments, a flow of destructive power that has reshaped the landscape of Gaza and its people.
The U.S. government has facilitated the transfer of an immense array of weaponry to Israel. In the initial month-and-a-half following the October 7 declaration of war, over 15,000 bombs and 50,000 artillery shells made their way into Israeli hands. The secrecy shrouding these transfers highlights the sensitive nature of this support, a topic often left out of public discourse and congressional oversight.
During the October-December 2023 “Swords of Iron” assaults on Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, and Syria, numerous companies have been identified for supplying Israel with weapons and military equipment. This list includes firms that have played a significant role in these attacks, providing various types of armaments and support.
The Corporate Giants Behind the Conflict
- Boeing: This aerospace titan provides Israel with F-15 jets, Apache helicopters, and an array of bombs, including those used in the devastating bombing of Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp.
- Caterpillar: Their armored bulldozers, long a symbol of Israeli military might, have been instrumental in the ground invasion, facilitating the path of destruction.
- BAE Systems: The UK-based firm supplies the M109 howitzer artillery, a weapon that has thundered across Gaza, firing shells that include banned white phosphorus munitions.
- Elbit Systems: Israel’s largest arms manufacturer supplies a range of weaponry, from drones to artillery shells, playing a pivotal role in the surveillance and attack strategies within Gaza.
- General Dynamics: This company is the sole producer of the MK-80 bomb series and 155mm shells, the primary munitions blanketing Gaza in explosions.
- General Electric: GE’s engines power the Apache helicopters, a key component in Israel’s aerial assaults.
- Lockheed Martin: As the world’s largest arms dealer, Lockheed Martin’s F-16 and F-35 jets have become synonymous with the skies over Gaza. Their Hellfire missiles have been a hallmark of the current conflict.
- Northrop Grumman, AM General, Ford, Oshkosh, Toyota: These companies provide the armored vehicles and trucks, essential for ground operations and troop transport.
- AeroVironment, Skydio, XTEND: These tech firms supply Israel with state-of-the-art drones, adding a critical dimension to Israel’s surveillance and attack capabilities.
- Colt’s Manufacturing Company, Emtan Karmiel: These firearm manufacturers equip Israeli forces with rifles and assault weapons, integral to both defense and offensive operations.
- Israel Aerospace Industries: A state-owned enterprise, it develops bespoke weapon systems, including drones used extensively in the conflict.
- Plasan, MDT Armor (Shladot): Specializing in light armored vehicles, these companies’ products are active in both offensive and reconnaissance roles.
- ThyssenKrupp, Nordic Ammunition Company: Foreign firms contributing warships and munitions, adding to the diversity of Israel’s military hardware.
The grim tally of over 20,000 Palestinian deaths in Gaza is a stark reminder of the war’s brutal efficiency. This figure includes at least 7,700 children, their lives snuffed out in a conflict that has spared no one. The Israeli bombardment, marked by its intensity and breadth, has not only claimed lives but has also left an indelible mark on Gaza’s infrastructure, rendering vast areas uninhabitable.
Amidst the ruins, the challenge of delivering humanitarian aid looms large. The besieged enclave, grappling with displacement and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, is a humanitarian crisis of monumental proportions. The world watches as efforts to provide relief are hindered at every turn, a testimony to the war’s far-reaching impact.
The war has galvanized protests worldwide, with voices demanding a cease-fire growing louder each day. Notably, many of these voices come from within the Jewish community, a sign of the growing discontent and moral dilemma faced by supporters of Israel across the globe.
The AFSC, a Quaker organization with deep roots in the region, has been vocal in its support for a full arms embargo on both Israeli and Palestinian militant groups. Their stance is clear: war and attacks on civilians will never forge a path to peace or safety for either Israelis or Palestinians. The need for a permanent cease-fire and a commitment to a just and lasting peace in the region is paramount.
As we survey the aftermath of this latest chapter in a long-standing conflict, the role of the companies listed becomes glaringly apparent. Their contributions, in the form of advanced weaponry and military equipment, have facilitated a war that has left deep scars on Gaza and its people.
In the words of Noam Perry from the AFSC, “The scale of destruction and war crimes in Gaza would not be possible without massive weapon transfers from the U.S.”