WaPo: Pentagon Ramping Up Intelligence-Sharing With Israel

Washington has reportedly scrambled to meet Tel Aviv’s “insatiable” demand for intelligence since October 7.

US intelligence agencies have significantly stepped up coordination with Israel throughout the war in Gaza, several officials told the Washington Post. While the intel is not supposed to be used for military purposes, some US officials fear it is helping to direct Israeli airstrikes.

Following eight months of fighting in the besieged Gaza Strip, Washington is now supplying an “extraordinary amount” of intelligence to Tel Aviv, including “drone footage, satellite imagery, communications intercepts and data analysis using advanced software, some of it powered by artificial intelligence,” the Post reported on Friday.

Highlighting the shift, the US deployed additional intelligence personnel to Israel soon after Hamas’ October 7 attack, sending forces from the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to work alongside CIA officers in the country. The Defense Intelligence Agency has also met with local counterparts “on a daily basis” in recent months, one US official said.

Despite US vows to keep troops out of Gaza, JSOC special operators reportedly planned for a mission to rescue American hostages last October, though it was never ordered.

“If we managed to unilaterally get information that we could act on, and we thought we could actually get US people out alive, we could act,” one official told the Post, adding “there was genuinely very little information specifically about US hostages.”

While the Joe Biden administration has attempted to restrict the intel for “hostage-location efforts” and hunting Hamas’ top leadership, it has no effective way to ensure it is not used to plan military action. Officials and lawmakers said they feared US-supplied intelligence was “making its way into the repositories of data that Israeli military forces use to conduct airstrikes or other military operations.” Tel Aviv has repeatedly ignored US warnings about its conduct in Gaza, where some 37,000 Palestinians have been killed since last October.

Rep. Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, has been critical of the lack of supervision on intelligence-sharing with Israel. Calling for more “robust oversight,” he recently co-sponsored a bill that would require top officials to notify lawmakers if US intel was used for an operation that resulted in civilian deaths. The legislation is still making its way through the House.

Will Porter is assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute and a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. Find more of his work at Consortium News and ZeroHedge.