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An examination of US and EU weapons used in explosive violence in Gaza, 2021

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**1.Introduction

Between May 10 and May 21, 2021, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other militant Palestinian groups engaged in intense fighting in a tit-for-tat escalation of force -- it was a surge of violence that would claim the lives of some 253 Palestinians in Gaza and 12 Israels. Among the dead, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), were 66 Palestinian children. Two Israeli children were also tragically killed in the fighting.

During the course of those 11 days, the IDF relied heavily on airpower, conducting airstrikes to retaliate against Hamas and discourage further rocket attacks against civilian targets leashed from Gaza. Between May 10 and May 17, 2021, the IDF conducted 1,450 airstrikes in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. In these strikes, which levied a 'catastrophic' toll on the civilian population and infrastructure, weapons designed and manufactured in the United States were frequently used.

One of the American-made weapons deployed by the IDF was the common Mk-84 (pronounced Mark eighty-four), a 2,000-pound general-purpose air-dropped bomb that can be fitted with a guidance kit. This article aims to analyse which manufacturers from the United States of America (US) and the European Union (EU) may have produced the components for the Mk-84 bombs used in Gaza, as well as their associated guidance kits, thereby effectively enabling what Human Rights Watch have called 'apparent war crimes' there.