Did Obama pressure Israel with missile cutoff last month?
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration attempted to pressure Israel with a cutoff in missile shipments during the height of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last month. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Amid diplomatic tensions between US President Barack Obama's administration and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the US halted a shipment of air-to-ground missiles to Israel last month during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
In July, Israel requested "through military-to-military channels a large number of Hellfire missiles", a first batch of which was about to be released to Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Israeli and American officials.
But the Pentagon immediately put the shipment on hold, and top officials at the White House instructed US defense agencies to consult with the White House and the State Department before approving any additional Israeli requests, according to the report. (snip)
The report depicted a context of poor relations between Obama and Netanyahu and claimed that the decision to halt the weapons transfer was made at a point when the White House and State Department became "increasingly disturbed by what they saw as heavy-handed battlefield tactics that they believed risked a humanitarian catastrophe," in Gaza.
It is no secret that Obama dislikes Netanyahu, but if this report is true (and it sounds real to me), we have an example of presidential duplicity, with Obama uttering supportive statements in public, but threatening Israel in private.