Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:10am EST
By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The United States has agreed in principle to provide Israel with better "smart bombs" than those it plans to sell Saudi Arabia under a regional defense package, senior Israeli security sources said on Sunday.
Keen to bolster Middle East allies against an ascendant Iran, the Bush administration last year proposed supplying Gulf Arab states with some $20 billion in new weapons, including Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bomb kits for the Saudis.
The plan has angered Israel's backers in Washington, who say the JDAMs, which give satellite guidance for bombs, may one day be used against the Jewish state or at least blunt its power to deter potential foes. Israel has had JDAMs since 1990 and has used them extensively in a 2006 offensive in Lebanon.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government dropped its objections to the proposed Saudi deal in July after securing U.S. military aid grants worth $30 billion over the next decade.
Rest of article at http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL1339881820080113