White House Reportedly Halts Missile Shipment to Israel
JNS.org – As further proof of deteriorating relations between Israel and the U.S., the White House has instructed the Pentagon to hold a shipment of Hellfire missiles meant for the Israeli Air Force, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, calling this the “lowest point” in U.S.-Israel relations since U.S. President Barack Obama took office.
Signaling to Israel that U.S. military assistance is now under drastically closer scrutiny than in the past, White House and State Department approval is now required for every request made by Israel, the report said.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the decision was spurred by the recent discovery that the Israel Defense Forces had secured American munitions transfers without the express approval of the White House, by way of military channels.
The report cites a July 20 request for mortar shells and illuminating rounds, stored at a pre-positioned weapons stockpile in Israel. The request was approved by military channels within three days, and according to U.S. officials “no presidential approval or signoff by the secretary of state was required or sought.” The deal was not made public.
The turning point came when on July 30, the U.S. was accused of supplying shells to Israel following the shelling of a U.N. school in Jabaliya. The administration was reportedly taken off guard, placing further strain on an already tense relationship with Israel’s leadership.
“There was no intent to blindside anyone. The process for this transfer was followed precisely along the lines that it should have,” the report quoted an American defense official as saying.