US to review Israeli weapons orders


The White House and State Department were apparently not aware of the number of weapons being transferred to Israel via the Pentagon

US President Obama is said to have had a "combative" phone call with Mr Netanyahu on Wednesday (AFP)
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Last update: 
Thursday 12 February 2015 20:15 UTC

Media reports are emerging this morning saying that the White House has instructed the US military and the Pentagon to hold off on the transfer of Hellfire missiles to Israel that the country ordered during Operation Protective Edge.

White House and State Department officials are apparently reviewing each request for US weapons on an individual basis rather than just allowing bulk orders via military channels only.

The Israeli ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, is apparently denying this, but media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and Haaretz continue to report it.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the discovery last month that the Israeli army had been securing arms supplies from the Pentagon, without the approval of the White House or State Department, caught them “off guard.”

Since the discovery, the US government has tightened its controls on weapons being exported to the state of Israel. Israeli and American officials seem to be taking this incident as evidence of how little power the White House actually has over the Israeli state and Prime Minister.

Analysts interpret this as a weakening of ties between the two countries, or at least a weakening of America's influence over Israel. Although John Kerry made several trips to Israel during the Israel-Gaza crisis, the US has not been directly involved in the current round of truce negotiations in Cairo as the talks are being mediated by Egypt.

According to the Wall Street Journal, President Obama is said to have had "a particularly combative phone call on Wednesday with Mr. Netanyahu, who they say has pushed the administration aside but wants it to provide Israel with security assurances in exchange for signing onto a long-term deal."