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US stops shipment of missiles to Israel

The United States has decided to suspend a scheduled shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel as tensions between the two countries grows over the war on the Gaza Strip, the Times of Israel quoted an Israeli official as saying yesterday.

The actions support a Wall Street Journal report which claimed that US-Israeli tensions are at a record high, with US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to hold a “particularly combative phone call on Wednesday” and officials on both sides resorting to name-calling.

Israel’s Channel 2 said “the Israeli mini cabinet discussed, during its meeting earlier in the day, the Israeli-US relations as well as the Cairo indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian factions over reaching a ceasefire agreement with Gaza.”

Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, during his meeting today with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo who is visiting Israel: “Israel highly appreciates its relations with the United States.”

“The relations between the security services of the two countries are very good. The relations between Israel and the United States are based on mutual interests and values,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Housing Minister, Uri Ariel said “the current crisis of confidence between the United States and Israel is only a passing summer cloud. US-Israeli relations have been strained previously, specifically during the times of the late Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir.”

Ariel defended Israel’s prime minister saying: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed first and foremost to ensuring the security of the state’s citizens” and criticised the US saying, “it is unaware of the course of events in the Middle East.”

Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer mocked the Israeli government’s announcement that it was working to demilitarise Gaza, posting on his Twitter account: “In its war against Hamas, Israel will end up demilitarised”.

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