The bombs, which are capable of penetrating concrete, were for use by the Israeli air force to kill Hezbollah leaders sheltering in hardened bunkers. This week's discovery that the bombs had passed through the country without proper notification provoked accusations by Mrs Beckett that Washington had broken agreements on the transporting of weapons.
US Planes Sending Weapons and Bombs to Israel Via UK Prestwick Airport
The two widely expected US army flights carrying weapons to Tel Aviv airport would be touching down at Prestwick today and tomorrow.
In a highly unusual rebuke she said: "I have already let the US know that this is an issue that appears to be seriously at fault."
However, opposition leaders accused the government of gesture politics by complaining about the incident yet refusing to block more such flights.
Prestwick is a regular stop-off for US military planes. The CIA is said to have used it for the "rendition" of terror suspects over a number of years.
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Frida Berrigan and William D. Hartung
(William D. Hartung is author of "Tangled Web 2005: A Profile of the Missile Defense and Space Weapons Lobbies" and a senior research fellow at the New School, where Frida Berrigan is a senior research associate. Both are Foreign Policy In Focus scholars.)
Read here full article in Foreign Policy in Focus
Much has been made in the U.S. media of the Syrian- and Iranian-origin weaponry used by Hezbollah in the escalating violence in Israel and Lebanon.
There has been NO parallel discussion of the origin of Israel's weaponry, the vast bulk of which is from the United States.
The United States is the primary source of Israel's far superior arsenal.
For more than 30 years, Israel had been the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance and since 1985 Jerusalem has received about $3 billion in military and economic aid each year from Washington. U.S. aid accounts for more than 20% of Israel's total defense budget.
Over the past decade, the United States has transferred more than $17 billion in military aid to this country of just under 7 million people.
Israel is one of the United States' largest arms importers.
The aid figure is larger than the arms transfer figure because it includes financing for major arms agreements for which the equipment has yet to be fully delivered. The most prominent of these deals is a $4.5 billion sale of 102 Lockheed Martin F-16s to Israel.
Given the billions of dollars of aid it provides to Israel every year and the central role of U.S.-supplied weaponry in the Israeli arsenal, the United States has considerable leverage that it could use to promote a cease fire in the current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah before more Israeli and Lebanese civilians are killed and displaced.
President Bush needs to go beyond vague calls for “restraint” to demands for a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, bringing in other key actors in the region, including Iran and Syria.
Click here for the full World Policy Institute report.
The bombs, which are capable of penetrating concrete, were for use by the Israeli air force to kill Hezbollah leaders sheltering in hardened bunkers.
This week's discovery that the bombs had passed through the country without proper notification provoked accusations by Mrs Beckett that Washington had broken agreements on the transporting of weapons.