The US is sending Israel tens of thousands of 155mm artillery shells that were designated for Ukraine, Axios reported on Thursday.
Israeli officials requested the artillery shells as they’re preparing for a ground invasion of Gaza and worried about an escalation with Hezbollah and the possibility of a northern front.
Earlier this year, the US began dipping into a weapons stockpile it has in Israel to ship more artillery shells to Ukraine. According to Axios, Israel has requested that the US replenish its stockpile of ammunition in Israel in case the Israeli military needs them on short notice. The US agreed to the request and is expected to send the 155mm shells in the coming weeks.
The US stockpile in Israel is controlled by the US military. But under the arrangement, Israel can use the ammunition in a war scenario with US approval and was granted access during the 2006 Lebanon war and 2014 Gaza war.
Israel has been using more 155mm shells since the October 7 attack as it has fired artillery into Gaza and into Lebanon during skirmishes with Hezbollah. The demand will increase significantly if Israel launches its expected ground invasion of Gaza.
The transfer of shells initially bound for Ukraine to Israel raises questions about the US military’s ability to provide weapons and ammunition for the two wars. According to the Pentagon, the US has so far provided Ukraine with over 2 million 155mm artillery shells.