Eli Lake has a big scoop in Newsweek (updated link here):
U.S. and Israeli officials tell Newsweek that the GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators--potentially useful in any future military strike against Iranian nuclear sites--were delivered to Israel in 2009, just several months after Obama took office.
The military sale was arranged behind the scenes as Obama's demands for Israel to stop building settlements in disputed territories were fraying political relations between the two countries in public.
The Israelis first requested the bunker busters in 2005, only to be rebuffed by the Bush administration. At the time, the Pentagon had frozen almost all U.S.-Israeli joint defense projects out of concern that Israel was transferring advanced military technology to China.
In 2007, Bush informed Ehud Olmert, then prime minister, that he would order the bunker busters for delivery in 2009 or 2010. The Israelis wanted them in 2007. Obama finally released the weapons in 2009, according to officials familiar with the still-secret decision.
This tracks with Goldblog's understanding of Obama's approach to Israel: He has always said that he would do whatever it takes to ensure Israel's security -- and providing these bombs, which could be used against Iranian weapons complexes, conforms to this stance -- but he has also signalled that he does not believe settlements help Israel stay safe. Quite the opposite. It is a very consistent policy, and a consistently pro-Israel policy as well.
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