Israel accepts US request to delay ground invasion of Gaza: WSJ

Ahram Online , Wednesday 25 Oct 2023

Israel has accepted a request from the US to temporarily delay its planned Gaza ground invasion to give Washington more time to deploy additional air defense systems to protect its groups in the region, according to US and Israeli officials who spoke to The Times of Israel.

Israel army
An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires a shell from southern Israel towards the Gaza Strip, in a position near the Israel-Gaza border, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. AP

 

The Pentagon is rushing to deploy roughly a dozen air defense systems to protect American troops in several Arab states from missile attacks.

Iran-backed proxies have carried out at least 13 attacks on US targets since the outbreak of Israeli war in Gaza, injuring at least two dozen US troops in Syria in one attack and 10 US soldiers in Iraq in another attack.

All of the injuries are minor, US officials said, according to The Times of Israel Wednesday. 

The US has managed to convince Israel to hold off on a ground invasion of Gaza until those missile defense systems are in place, which could be as soon as later this week, US officials told the Wall Street Journal.

But the US request is not the only factor Israel is taking into account, as it readies for a ground invasion, according to the WSJ report.

The US is also factoring in efforts to supply humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza as well as diplomatic efforts to release more captives, the officials told the Journal.

Immediately after the outbreak of the recent conflict, President Biden sent two US Navy carrier groups - the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS Gerald R. Ford - to the eastern Mediterranean to demonstrate US support to Tel Aviv.

The US also sent a rapid response force, consisting of 2,000 Marines and sailors, to back Israel.

It also sent additional US fighter jets to the region.

US Special Operations forces are now assisting Israel’s military in planning and intelligence.

The US also sent the first shipment of additional munitions to replenish Israel's anti-rocket arsenal.

A veteran US State Department official, who resigned over his country's 'blind support' for Israel, said the robust US military assistance for Israel was effectively giving the country the green light to do what it wants against Gaza, regardless of the civilian toll.

“I recognize the Israeli government's right to respond and to defend themselves. I guess I question how many Palestinian children have to die in that process,” he said.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands have demonstrated in major cities across the United States to demand that Washington stop supporting Israel's war on the Palestinians in Gaza.

A national march on Washington against the Israeli war is scheduled for 4 November.

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