Nearly Half of Munitions Dropped on Gaza are ‘Dumb Bombs’ – US Intel Assessment

Gaza reels under new massacres carried out by the Israeli army. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

A new US intelligence assessment has found that nearly half of the air-to-ground munitions that Israel dropped on Gaza have been unguided, otherwise known as “dumb bombs.”

According to a report by CNN, the assessment, compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, says that about 40 to 45% of the 29,000 air-to-ground munitions that Israel has used have been unguided. The rest have been precision-guided munitions, the assessment adds.  

Three sources who have seen the assessment shared the information with CNN. 

The report states that “unguided munitions are typically less precise and can pose a greater threat to civilians, especially in such a densely populated area like Gaza.”

The rate at which Israel is using the dumb bombs may be contributing to the soaring civilian death toll, it adds. 

To date, 18,787 Palestinians have been killed and more than 50,897 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children. 

The Washington Post reported last Saturday that Israel has deployed over 22,000 US-produced bombs on Gaza.

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden said Israel has been engaged in “indiscriminate bombing” in Gaza and is “starting to lose support” of the international community. 

CNN further reports that there are concerns that if Israel is using unguided munitions at the rate the US believes they are, that undercuts the Israeli claim that they are trying to minimize civilian casualties. 

“It’s bad enough to be using the weapons when they are precisely hitting their targets,” Brian Castner, a former Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer who now serves as Amnesty International’s senior crisis adviser on arms and military operations, told CNN.

“It is a massive civilian harm problem if they do not have that accuracy, and if you can’t even give a benefit of the doubt that the weapon is actually landing where the Israeli forces intended to,” Castner reportedly added.

CNN also reports that Marc Garlasco, a former United Nations military analyst and war crimes investigator, said that using unguided munitions in a densely populated area like Gaza both greatly increases the chance that a target is missed and that civilians are harmed in the process.

It is not clear what kinds of unguided munitions the Israeli military has been using, but the CNN report pointed to the Israeli Air Force having posted photos of fighter aircraft armed with what looked like the M117 bombs on X in October.  

The US has also provided Israel with unguided munitions, says CNN. However, it also provided Israel with systems that can transform those dumb bombs into “smart” ones, including the Joint Direct Attack Munitions guidance system and the Spice Family Gliding Bomb Assemblies.

The US has provided Israel with approximately 3,000 JDAMS to Israel since October 7, CNN previously reported. It told Congress last month that it planned to transfer $320 million worth of the Spice Family kits. 

Asked for comment on the assessment report, IDF spokesperson Nir Dinar initially told CNN, “We do not address the type of munitions used.”

However, following the publication of CNN’s article, Dinar reportedly said: “The type of munitions used in each strike is determined according to the characteristics of the target, the operational need, and the effort to mitigate harm to civilians, which the terrorist organization uses as human shields.”

Israel has not spared any buildings in its aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip, with residential homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, universities, bakeries  and even a zoo, amongst its targets.


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1 Comment

  1. I think we can take it from the IDF spokesperson Nir Dinar’s bafflegab as being an admission that the IDF does precisely that, targeting civilians. Since if they have in fact been taking care to avoid harming civilians, they have done the very opposite. So they’re either lying or they’re utterly incompetent, and the US, the UK and the EU have no right, let alone duty, to supply weaponry to a willfully incompetent or malicious armed force. We should require the IDF to be renamed the Israel Defense Farce as part of any partial peace agreement.

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