Israel Used US-Made Bombs In Deadly Rafah Strike: Report

The serial numbers on the weapon’s remains matched the manufacturer of GBU-39 parts based in California, suggesting that munitions are made in the US.

Israel Used US-Made Bombs In Deadly Rafah Strike: Report

The bombs used by Israel to target a tent camp in Rafah's Tal as-Sultan area late Sunday night were made in the United States, multiple news platforms have reported. The latest Israeli airstrikes -- eight of them -- on Gaza's southernmost city killed at least 45 Palestinians, drawing widespread condemnation from countries, human rights groups and celebrities.

Footage from the scene reviewed by explosive weapons experts revealed that the ammunition was made in the US, CNN reported.

A day after the airstrike, remnants from a GBU-39, a small-diameter bomb (SDB) designed and manufactured in the US, were found, the report added. Four explosive weapons experts identified the tail of the US-made GBU-39, further establishing the usage of US-manufactured weapons.

CNN geolocated a clip on the internet by matching details including the camp's entrance sign and the tiles on the ground. While doing so, the explosive weapons experts identified the tail of a US-made GBU-39 small-diameter bomb (SDB).

Manufactured by Boeing, the GBU-39 is reportedly a high-precision munition “designed to attack strategically important point targets,” and leads to low collateral damage. The CNN report suggested that using any ammunition of this size would lead to risks in densely populated areas.

Trevor Bell, a former US Army senior explosive ordnance disposal team member, told CNN that the warhead portion [of the munition] is distinct, and the guidance and wing section are extremely unique compared to other munitions. "Guidance and wing sections of munitions are often the remnants left over even after a munition detonates. I saw the tail actuation section and instantly knew it was one of the SDB/GBU-39 variants," he added.

The serial numbers on the weapon's remains matched the manufacturer of GBU-39 parts based in California. The GBU-39 has a net explosive weight of about 17kgs, or 37 pounds, according to a New York Times report.

While commenting on the Rafah strike, Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh on Tuesday said, “I do not know what type of ammunition was used in that airstrike. I'd have to refer you to the Israelis to speak to that.”

On Thursday, the Israeli military said that it was under the control of the entire length of Gaza's border with Egypt – known as the Philadelphi Corridor --  meaning the IDF continues to deepen its ground offensive in Rafah despite international condemnation, Al Jazeera reported.

The city of Rafah, in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip, is currently sheltering hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians who have fled the Israeli bombings that have now continued for over eight months.  

The Sunday's strike, which killed 45 Palestinians, also led to fire in tents which then spread through the area. A fuel tank explosion, triggered by an Israeli airstrike, was responsible for the fire, according to NBC.
 

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