War in the Middle East: Israel and the USA settle dispute over ammunition aid

War in the Middle East: Israel and the USA settle dispute over ammunition aid
War in the Middle East: Israel and the USA settle dispute over ammunition aid

Netanyahu had angered the USA with criticism of arms deliveries. His defense minister calmed the situation. Also with a view to a possible war in Lebanon. The news at a glance.

Israel and its ally the USA have smoothed over the dispute over ammunition supplies for the Jewish state. “Obstacles have been removed and bottlenecks eliminated,” said Israeli Defense Minister Joav Galant on Wednesday at the end of four days of talks in Washington. “Significant progress” has been made.

According to Israeli media, he criticized his Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for publicly expressing his displeasure over the matter instead of resolving it internally with the United States. “In every family – and we consider the American people our family – disagreements can arise,” Galant explained. “But like in every family, we discuss our disagreements within our own four walls and remain united,” he said.

Netanyahu recently caused a new crisis in relations with President Joe Biden’s US government with a video in which he harshly attacked the US government for holding back a weapons shipment. Last Sunday, he reiterated his accusations at the weekly cabinet meeting: About four months ago, there was “a dramatic decline in weapons deliveries from the US to Israel,” Netanyahu complained. After the situation had not changed for months, he went public with this.

Reports of Israeli air strikes in Syria and Lebanon

Meanwhile, at least three people were killed in a suspected Israeli air strike in Syria, according to activists. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced on Thursday that the attacks from the previous evening took place in the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus. The facilities of an organization that has ties to the Lebanese Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian militias were hit. The information could not be independently verified at this time. Israel’s air force repeatedly bombs targets in the neighboring country. Israel wants to prevent its arch-enemy Iran and its allied militias from expanding their military influence there.

According to state media, at least five people were injured in the town of Nabataea on Wednesday evening in another suspected Israeli air strike in southern Lebanon. Several houses and cars were damaged shortly before midnight. This information could not initially be independently verified either. Israel has been exchanging fire with Hezbollah in the border region with Lebanon since the war in the Gaza Strip began. Recently, the intensity of the fighting has increased significantly. Concerns are growing that the conflict could escalate into war. The USA recently withheld the delivery of heavy bombs to Israel in order to force its military to spare the civilian population during the offensive in the town of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Report: US official admits bottlenecks

Otherwise, the pace of supplying US weapons and ammunition to Israel is “normal,” the Wall Street Journal quoted a US State Department official as saying on Wednesday. Only when you compare it with the first months of the Gaza war, when the US massively boosted ammunition supplies to its ally, can you speak of a slowdown, it said.

However, after the meetings between Israeli Defense Minister Galant and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin and US security advisor Jake Sullivan, a senior US State Department official admitted to the Times of Israel that there had been some bottlenecks in arms deliveries to Israel, but that these were not intentional and were now being resolved. Apart from the issue of the continued delay in the delivery of heavy bombs, there are “some things that we may be able to move forward a little more quickly or reprioritize,” he said.

Gantz: Netanyahu is damaging relations with US ally

With his recent harsh accusations against Washington, Israel’s head of government “said something right on the one hand, but on the other hand gave a dramatic interpretation that is completely unfounded,” the Wall Street Journal quoted Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser to Israel, as saying. “The unnecessary disputes that the prime minister is creating for political reasons may earn him a few points with his supporters, but they are damaging the strategic relationship with the United States, which is an integral part of our ability to win the war,” said Benny Gantz, until recently a minister in Netanyahu’s war cabinet. “In recent months, we have resolved many problems with our friends behind closed doors, including the issue of ammunition,” he said in a statement on Wednesday, agreeing with Galant.

Netanyahu recently announced that the intensive fighting phase in the Gaza war would soon end, which would give Israel the opportunity to move some of its troops north. There, in the border area with Lebanon, the intensity of the fighting with Hezbollah has recently increased significantly. There are concerns that the situation will escalate and turn into a full-blown war.

According to current and former Israeli officials, the Israeli military is keeping weapons stockpiles in reserve in the event of a possible war with Lebanon, wrote the Wall Street Journal. Irritation over the slowdown in US arms deliveries has therefore become a factor in possible future deployments in Lebanon.

Foreign Office calls on Germans to leave Lebanon

The Foreign Office in Berlin has again called on all Germans in Lebanon to leave the country due to the situation. The situation on the border between Israel and Lebanon is very tense, the Foreign Ministry announced on Platform X on Wednesday. A further escalation could also lead to air traffic from Rafic Hariri Airport in Beirut being completely suspended, the new travel and security advice said. “Leaving Lebanon by air would then no longer be possible.”

Just a few days after the Islamist Hamas attack on Israel and the start of the Gaza war in October last year, the Federal Foreign Office called on German citizens and their families to leave the country.

Source: Stern

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