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Israel seeking arms, ammunition from US

Israeli air force fighter jets

JERUSALEM (PTI): Israel is seeking arms and ammunitions in bulk from its close ally America, triggering speculation of a possible outbreak of a military confrontation in the region.

The Israeli request includes Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM ) bombs for its Air Force as well as significant expansion of the emergency stores held by the American army in the Jewish state which can be utilised when need be, daily 'Ha'aretz' reported.

The request was made during recent visits to Washington by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Director General of the Defence Ministry, Udi Shani, in their conversations with senior administration and Congress officials.

The priority list reflects the security threats the defence establishment believes Israel will face in the next few years, including possibility of a prolonged war, which would necessitate the country using its Air Force widely to attack many targets, along with ensuring enough spare parts and supplies, the report said.

Israel has requested for the JDAM bombs to increase the number of such munitions already in its arsenal.

They were used by the Jewish state in the Second Lebanon War against Shi'ite militant faction, Hizbullah, in 2006 and during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008.

Israel is also seeking an increase in the amount of gear held by the American army in their emergency stores in Israel by 50 per cent, raising it from ammunitions worth USD 800 million to USD 1.2 billion.

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