July 19, 2024
As early as January, Calcalist reported that the IDF had to manage the pace of bombings due to the global shortage and the intensive use of ammunition at the beginning of the operation. In late November, less than two months after the war began, the IDF announced that the Artillery Corps had used more than 100,000 shells.

European countries limiting ‘simple’ munitions sales to Israel

Israel requires raw materials that can be converted to ammunition to sustain the war effort, but European countries, normally the source for those materials, are restricting supplies to Israel since October 7; Serbia is lending a hand, but it isn’t enough, and the IDF is scrambling for alternatives

“If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone. If necessary, we will fight tooth and nail,” declared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two months ago in a video filmed against the backdrop of escalating disagreements between the Israeli government and the U.S. administration under President Joe Biden. A month later, Netanyahu upped the ante and made what had been said behind closed doors public.

“It is unacceptable that the U.S. is delaying arms shipments to Israel,” he proclaimed in English in a video posted on social media.

While the complex relations with the Americans regarding aid to Israel are capturing most of the public’s attention, the Defense Ministry and the IDF are currently more concerned about a different developing reality: the possibility of a munitions shortage after several countries around the world have informally ceased trading with Israel.

Calcalist has learned that weapons suppliers from European countries have simply stopped responding to their Israeli counterparts, and a foreign power that is not the U.S., which previously traded with Israel, has refused to supply Israel with raw materials for ammunition production since October 7.

According to a report by The New York Times, the IDF is facing a shortage of 120mm shells for tanks to the extent that some tanks stationed in Gaza are now on partial alert and carrying fewer shells to reserve them for potential escalation on the northern front. Calcalist has learned from senior IDF officials that a “munitions economy” is indeed being managed. The New York Times reported that the military is also dealing with shortages of spare parts for tanks, D9 bulldozers, armored vehicles and additional light ground ammunition.

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