US has agreed to send more bombs and warplanes to Israel, sources say


The Israeli embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The decision on weapons follows a visit to Washington by Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant this week when he discussed Israel’s weapons needs with US counterparts.

Christians walk the Way of the Cross procession that commemorates Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday, in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Christians walk the Way of the Cross procession that commemorates Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday, in the Old City of Jerusalem.Credit: AP

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Gallant, apparently seeking to cool US-Israeli tensions, said he stressed the importance of US ties to his country’s security and of maintaining Israel’s “qualitative military edge” in the region, including its air capabilities.

The war erupted on October 7 after Hamas militants attacked Israel and killed 1200 people and seized 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel has retaliated by launching an air and ground assault on Hamas in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 32,000 people, health authorities in Gaza say.

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On Friday, Hundreds of Christians participated in a customary Good Friday procession through the limestone walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, commemorating one of the faith’s most sacred days with noticeably thinner crowds amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The procession, which normally draws thousands of foreign visitors, was unusually local — mostly Palestinian Christians, joined by some foreigners living in Jerusalem and a few undeterred tourists.

The procession passes along the Way of the Cross, or Via Dolorosa, the route believed to have been walked by Jesus to his crucifixion. Squads of Israeli police set up barricades along the path, rerouting shoppers in the Old City’s bustling Muslim quarter to make way for hundreds of pilgrims.

Israel carried out its deadliest strikes in months on northern Syria’s Aleppo province early on Friday and said it killed a senior Hezbollah commander in Lebanon, stepping up its campaign against Iran’s proxies in parallel with its war in Gaza.

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Israel has ramped up airstrikes in Syria against both the Lebanese Hezbollah militia and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) since the Iranian-backed Palestinian faction Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7. In recent days its pilots have resumed regular practice for “deep” raids into Lebanon.

Tehran and its proxies have entrenched themselves across Syria, including around Aleppo and the capital Damascus.

The Israeli military said on Friday it had killed Ali Abed Akhsan Naim, deputy commander of Hezbollah’s rocket and missiles unit, in an airstrike in the area of Bazouriye in Lebanon.

It said he was one of the Iranian-backed militia’s leaders in heavy-warhead rocket fire and said he was responsible for conducting and planning attacks against Israeli civilians.

Israel and Hezbollah have also been trading fire across Lebanon’s southern border in the biggest escalation since they fought a month-long war in 2006, as Hezbollah has tried to show its support for Hamas with volleys of rockets into Israel.

About a dozen Israeli troops and half a dozen civilians have been killed in northern Israel, while nearly 270 Hezbollah fighters and 50 civilians including medics, civilians and journalists have been killed in Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon.

Israel has repeatedly struck international airports in both Damascus and Aleppo over the years to disrupt weapons flows to Iran’s allies in the region, but strikes since October 7 have been deadlier and prompted Iran to withdraw some of its top officers from Syria.

Reuters, AP



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