An Israeli soldier takes cover as an Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, southern Israel, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022. InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovUS President Joe Biden pledged his “full support” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call Sunday in which the two leaders discussed the ongoing armed conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Among other weapons, Israel has asked the US to replenish their arsenal of missile interceptors for the Iron Dome air defense system, an American newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying on Sunday.
“Israeli officials have made several specific requests to Washington in response to the Hamas military offensive, including for a replenishment of Iron Dome interceptors, small-diameter bombs, ammunition rounds for machine guns and heightened cooperation on intelligence-sharing related to potential military activities in southern Lebanon,” the source stated.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on his part, informed reporters that Israel had presented a number of specific requests, without providing further details on the nature of these requests.Tal Naim, a spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, concurred with him, stating that they “do not comment on the [Jewish state’s] army needs that are discussed with the US.”
The US newspaper called Israel’s purported request for Iron Dome interceptors “a precautionary step in anticipation of future bombardments” rather than “an indication that it is running low on a missile-defense tool that has been key to shielding Israelis from incoming rocket fire” by Hamas.
According to the newspaper, “the military operations are expected to go on for several weeks” since Israeli officials made ”requests with other regional actors” in case the ”conflict expands.”The report comes after US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ben Cardin asserted his intentions to advance legislation to provide security assistance to Israel, including ”the replenishment of its Iron Dome air defense system, as soon as possible.”Pentagon officials announced on Sunday their intention to deploy the F-35 and F-15 fighter jets in the Eastern Mediterranean region, with the purpose of preventing ”the war in Israel from spreading beyond the country’s borders.”On October 7, a surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Flood was executed by Hamas militants. They managed to infiltrate Israeli towns, target military outposts, and unleash a barrage of rockets across different areas of the country. In response to the attacks, Israel launched a relentless series of airstrikes on Gaza and officially declared war on Hamas. This decisive action was taken by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), marking the beginning of Operation Iron Swords.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that his country “is embarking on a long and difficult war'' and that “the first phase ends in these hours by destroying most of the enemy forces that have penetrated our territory.”
The death toll in Israel from the armed standoff has now reached 700, with thousands more reported to have been injured, according to the country’s military. Palestinian officials say at least 436 people have been killed and more than 2,200 injured in Gaza.