A senior Israeli official confirmed to Israeli media that the US had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid worsening ties over fighting in Gaza.
The decision to hold off on the transfer was most likely on grounds of increased diplomatic tension, the official said, corroborating a Wall Street Journal report earlier in the day that claimed the White House and State Department had been angered by a transfer of arms to Israel and had ordered greater oversight into future sales.
The report claimed that US-Israeli tensions are at a record high, with US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to hold a “particularly combative phone call on Wednesday” and officials on both sides resorting to name-calling. Read more at The Times of Israel.
Yesterday, the Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
This operation is an effort to stop the recent escalation in Hamas terrorism and missile fire.
Since the beginning of the year, over 450 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.
- Yesterday alone, 80 rockets were fired into Israel.
- Once again, the residents of southern cities such as Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Be’er Sheva have returned to the bomb shelters.
- Today, a missile fired at Tel Aviv was stopped by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
- Israel has blamed Hamas for the brutal murder of three students kidnapped on their way home from school.
In the coming days, many will criticize Israel’s actions while glossing over the necessity for them. As we pray for the safety of the Israel Defense Forces and innocent civilians on both sides of this conflict, we must not be silent. We must know our facts and speak out in Israel’s defense. Israel must not be condemned for doing what any responsible government would do to protect its citizens from terror. We must not permit Israeli defense to be equated with Hamas aggression.
The cabinet on Tuesday afternoon approved an IDF request to call up as many as 40,000 reserve combat troops.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz had asked for the additional troops earlier in the day. The added forces are slated to replace active duty battalions on other fronts, freeing them up for a possible ground incursion into the Strip as part of Operation Protective Edge.
The IDF used the authorization to immediately call up some 15,000 reserve combat troops on Tuesday afternoon, the Ynet news website reported.
The large call-up would seem to presage a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip. Read more at The Times of Israel.