Thursday, 14 August 2014

US fears world public opinion as it refuses transfer of hellfire missiles to IDF

From Haaretz - Israel in recent days has been holding discussions with the American administration, including at the very highest levels, in attempt to resolve the crisis between the two countries and to remove limitations placed by Washington on weapon shipments to Israel as a result of the fighting in Gaza, senior officials in Jerusalem told Haaretz.

"We are speaking with them to try and return the situation to its previous [state]," said one of the senior officials. The crisis has yet to be solved, the official said, but he has expressed hope that it will be resolved soon.

The latest crisis started when the White House instructed the Pentagon and the U.S. military to put on hold a transfer of Hellfire missiles for Apache attack helicopters that Israel had requested during its recent operation in the Gaza Strip.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday morning reported that there was serious anger in the White House against Netanyahu and the Israel Defense Forces' operations during the war in Gaza, especially concerning the high number of civilian casualties.

The talks between the parties are being conducted at the normal staff levels of the Prime Minister's Bureau, Defense Ministry and Israeli Embassy in Washington on the Israeli side, and the White House, U.S. State Department and Pentagon, on the American. Nonetheless, it seems the matter has also been raised at the higher levels of the political leadership.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama held a telephone call Wednesday afternoon, and later Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke on the phone with his counterpart, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. The Israelis initiated both calls, and were attempts to solve the most recent crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations.

Ministers in the security cabinet said that Netanyahu did not update them about the crisis with the United States over the weapons transfers, and they first heard of the matter from the press when it was reported in the Wall Street Journal. more


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