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U.S. will send Israel artillery shells that were supposed to go to Ukraine

President Joe Biden is slated to deliver a Thursday evening address to the American people, stressing the importance of aiding Ukraine and Israel to U.S. interests.

Published: October 19, 2023 5:18pm

The U.S. will provide Israel with artillery shells to bolster its efforts against the terrorist group Hamas, diverting tens of thousands of munitions that it had originally planned to give Ukraine.

The U.S. maintains a stockpile of 155 mm artillery shells in Israel, from which it had provided ammunition to Kyiv for its war with Russia since earlier this year, Israeli officials told Axios. Israel maintains no control over the stockpile, though provisions exist for the U.S. to quickly supply Jerusalem in the event of an emergency. At the time, Israeli officials did not foresee developments necessitating their forces' use of the shells.

The Oct. 7 Hamas incursion into Israeli territory, however, has prompted major retaliatory strikes by the Israel Defense Forces on the Gaza Strip and artillery has become a critical component of Jerusalem's strategy to soften up the territory for a land invasion. The shells had been slated for Ukraine months ago.

Artillery has been a key component of fighting in Eastern Europe as well, however. And Russian forces have put Ukraine on the defensive in the wake of a failed counteroffensive operation by Kyiv. Fighting is ongoing around the fortress town of Avdiivka in the Donbass region.

President Joe Biden is slated to deliver a Thursday evening address to the American people, stressing the importance of aiding Ukraine and Israel to U.S. interests, though it remains unclear how much support a divided Congress, currently dealing with a leadership struggle in the lower chamber, may be inclined to approve.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter. 

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