Report: US halted weapons transfer to Israel during Gaza offensive

Amid tensions between Netanyahu and Obama, the US halted transfer of 'Hellfire' air-to-surface missiles, 'Wall Street Journal' reports.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 14, 2014 09:42
US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Amid diplomatic tensions between US President Barack Obama's administration and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the US halted a shipment of air-to-ground missiles to Israel last month during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.  

In July, Israel requested "through military-to-military channels a large number of Hellfire missiles", a first batch of which was about to be released to Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Israeli and American officials. 

But the Pentagon immediately put the shipment on hold, and top officials at the White House instructed US defense agencies to consult with the White House and the State Department before approving any additional Israeli requests, according to the report.

A senior Obama administration official was quoted in the report as saying the decision to scrutinize future transfers at the highest levels amounted to "the United States saying 'The buck stops here. Wait a second…It's not OK anymore."  

The report depicted a context of poor relations between Obama and Netanyahu and claimed that the decision to halt the weapons transfer was made at a point when the White House and State Department became "increasingly disturbed by what they saw as heavy-handed battlefield tactics that they believed risked a humanitarian catastrophe," in Gaza.

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