Israeli officials are confirming tonight that planned shipments of Hellfire missiles to the Israeli military have been halted by US officials, amid reports Israel had “quietly” been getting arms from a Pentagon stockpile without White House permission.
Tensions between the US and Israel were already rising, centering around Israeli condemnation of Secretary of State John Kerry’s effort to negotiate a ceasefire, the apparent end-around in acquiring arms from the Pentagon stockpile in Israel only added to the distrust.
Particularly onerous to US officials was that Israel had just secured a promise for $225 million in addition Iron Dome funding from Congress, and then took the $3 million worth of lethal rounds from the Pentagon stockpile in the middle of the ceasefire efforts.
The Pentagon is maintaining that the entire process was appropriate, and that the Israeli Defense Ministry didn’t need approval from President Obama or from the US State Department to access the “emergency” stockpile. That they did so, however, seems to have cost them a massive Hellfire shipment.