Congress to consider bill to provide Israel with bunker buster bombs

Bipartisan bill would allow sale of most powerful bombs in US arsenal to Israel in event Iran reaches nuclear breakout point.

Gary Willig ,

Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill

The US Congress will consider a bill to sell bunker buster bombs to Israel later this week.

The bipartisan legislation will be introduced by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Brian Mast (R-FL), and will open the door to Israel receiving the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), one of the most powerful non-nuclear bombs in the American arsenal. This would not include the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), also known as the 'Mother of all bombs, which is not a penetrator.

Bunker busting bombs are designed to penetrate hardened or underground targets such as military bunkers.

The bill is meant to increase Israel's deterrence capabilities in the event that Iran accelerates its nuclear weapons program and reaches the point of breakout.

“We must ensure our ally Israel is equipped and prepared to confront a full range of threats, including the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. That is why I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to defend Israel from Iran and Hezbollah and reinforce our historic ally’s qualitative military edge in the region with ‘bunker buster’ munitions,” Gottheimer told Jewish Insider. “Iran and its terrorist proxies throughout the region must never be able to threaten the U.S. or Israel with a nuclear weapon.”

Under the bill, the US Defense Department must be in contact with Israeli defense officials and report to Congress on Israel’s deterrence capabilities as well as the strategic benefits of the transfer of the MOP to Israel.

Gottheimer intends to submit the bill to the House of Representatives this Friday.