US: Arms to Israel were scrutinised over Gaza

State Department says US tightened its oversight on arms shipments to ally Israel during the bombardment of Gaza.

    US: Arms to Israel were scrutinised over Gaza
    The US repeatedly called on Israel to do more to prevent civilian casualties during the fighting [EPA]

    The Obama administration, which urged Israel do more to prevent civilian casualties in its conflict with Hamas fighters, placed US arms shipments to Israel under greater scrutiny during the Gaza crisis, the US State Department has said.

    Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, said on Thursday that "given the crisis in Gaza, it's natural that agencies take additional care to review deliveries as part of an interagency process. That is by no means unusual and, again, does not indicate any change in policy." 

    "I'm not going to give a specific reason behind why, during a crisis, we would take a second look."

    Harf was responding to a  Wall Street Journal report on Thursday that said the Israeli military had quietly secured US ammunition supplies from the Pentagon which caught White House and State Department officials off guard during the Gaza conflict.

    She played down the idea that the White House or State Department were surprised by the Pentagon's shipments or that there was any diminution of US support for Israel.

    The newspaper said the Obama administration had since tightened its control on arms transfers to Israel, a close US ally that has strong support within the US Congress.

    On August 3, the US State Department issued an unusually harsh statement after shelling at a UN school in Gaza. While it did not explicitly blame the shelling on the Israeli military, it urged greater care to protect civilians.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.