Nov 29, 2023 - World
Axios Explains: Israel-Hamas war

Charted: U.S. has provided Israel with more than 70,000 weapons since 1950

Data: SIPRI; Note: SIPRI data only includes larger weapons, and items like small arms, body armor, grenades and radar-related detection equipment are not included. Separate orders of large vehicle parts are included in ground vehicle and aircraft unit counts. Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios
Data: SIPRI; Note: SIPRI data only includes larger weapons, and items like small arms, body armor, grenades and radar-related detection equipment are not included. Separate orders of large vehicle parts are included in ground vehicle and aircraft unit counts. Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios

The U.S. provided Israel with over 70,000 weapons — aircraft, ground vehicles, missiles and bombs — via military aid between 1950 and 2022, according to an Axios analysis of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Arms Transfers Database.

The big picture: Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military financing, with most of that aid coming in the form of weapons grants. "I think it's a safe assumption to say that U.S. weapons are being used extensively in the current Israeli operations in Gaza," Elias Yousif, a U.S. arms transfer expert at the Stimson Center, told Time earlier this month.

  • The U.S. has provided Israel with at least sixteen types of weapons in 2023, including missiles and aircraft, though the exact numbers and types of weapons have not been made public.
  • Some progressives have pressed the White House to be more forthcoming. Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo) recently told The Washington Post, "The Biden administration should provide the same transparency around arms transfers to Israel that it has for Ukraine and other countries."
  • The Pentagon has stated it will not put limits on how the Israel Defense Forces uses U.S.-provided weaponry, though the Biden administration has called on Israel to limit civilian casualties and has endorsed humanitarian pauses in the fighting.

State of play: Israel's operations in Gaza have killed over 14,000 Palestinians, according to Ministry of Health in Hamas-run Gaza.

  • Israel launched the operation after an Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas killed over 1,200 people.

Zoom in: According to Axios research, Joint Direction Action Munitions (JDAMs) are the most common weapon system the U.S. has supplied to Israel over the years.

  • Boeing last month sped up the deliveries of 1,800 JDAM kits to Israel from a 2021 sale that was originally to be fulfilled over several years.

Zoom out: Israel has access to some of the most advanced U.S. military technology, and U.S. support accounts for around 15% of Israel's annual defense budget, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

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Editor's note: This story's headline has been corrected to reflect that the U.S. has supplied 70,000 (not 700,000) weapons to Israel.

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