Details on U.S.-contracted arms ship left the U.S. on December 20 with 989 containers - of high explosives and other munitions, destined for Ashdod, Israel...
Details on the ship contracted by the U.S. Military Sealift Command to transport high explosives and munitions to the Israeli port of Ashdod.
The reports: "the Wehr Elbe, a German-owned cargo ship, left the U.S. on December 20 with 989 containers - of high explosives and other munitions. The ship, hired and now legally controlled by the U.S. Military Sealift Command, is destined for the Israeli port of Ashdod and was due to transit via Greece -- though its latest reported position indicates that the shipment's route may have changed. [Greek opposition protesters have announced that they are descending on the port of Astakos to protest the use of the Greek port to re-arm Israel, Astakos was to be the transit point for the Wehr Elbeand the Military Sealift Command has announced it is by-passing of the Greek port].
Tenders for two other arms shipments totaling 325 containers of US munitions, including white phosphorous, were approved by the Pentagon on December 31, four days after the start of Israel's current attacks on targets in Gaza. These two consignments were due to be shipped to Ashdod, Israel, from Astakos in Greece. Although that particular tender has now been cancelled, according to information provided to Amnesty International by the U.S .Military Sealift Command, the U.S. Defense Department says it is now looking at other means to deliver the munitions to a U.S. stockpile in Israel, which can be transferred to the Israeli Defense Force in 'an emergency.'
White phosphorous can cause severe burns and is allegedly being used as an airburst in densely-populated civilian areas of Gaza, in a manner that would likely violate humanitarian law. "
AI stated, "the U.S. government should not proceed with these or any other arms shipments to Israel, and the Greek and other governments should not allow their ports or other facilities to be used to ferry arms to Israel or the other parties to this conflict . . . In addition to locally produced arms, Israeli forces are carrying out unlawful attacks using foreign weaponry and other military equipment supplied mainly by the USA but also from other countries."
In addition to the United States, Israel's largest arms supplier, other nations involved with arming Israel are, according to AI, "Germany, France, the UK, Spain, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, Canada, Slovenia, Australia, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Serbia-Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina." AI also reports that The Netherlands and Greece have both been major transit countries to Israel, especially for U.S. arms.