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U.S. official: Netanyahu asked Panetta to approve sale of bunker-busting bombs

Top administration source says Obama instructed Defense Secretary to work with Defense Minister Barak, favorably consider request to purchase GBU-28 bombs, advanced refueling aircraft.

JTA

March 6, 2012 | 4:34 pm

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft releases a GBU-28 "Bunker Buster" during a weapons evaluation test. Photo by

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft releases a GBU-28 "Bunker Buster" during a weapons evaluation test. Photo by

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested the United States approve the sale of advanced refueling aircraft as well as GBU-28 bunker-piercing bombs to Israel during a recent meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a top U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The American official said that U.S. President Barack Obama instructed Panetta to work directly with Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the matter, indicating that the U.S. administration was inclined to approve the request as soon as possible.

During the administration of former U.S. President George Bush, the U.S. refused to sell bunker-penetrating bombs and refueling aircrafts to Israel, as a result of American estimates that Israel would then use them to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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