THE LEVANT – By Katharine J Tobal –
With the death toll now at more than 1,300 Palestinians (most of them have been civilians) as well as 56 Israeli soldiers, the Israeli government has ordered its military to continue its “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza.
The decision came after a five-hour Security Cabinet meeting on Wednesday July 30, and according to the Pentagon, the Israeli military – as one of the historical allies to US – asked US government for more ammunition to restock its decreasing supplies and resupply it with grenades and mortar rounds.
Pentagon Says “YES” To Supporting Israel
The Pentagon approved giving the IDF rocket launchers, grenades, and other weapons that the U.S. keeps stockpiled in Israel as part of the $1 billion War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel program, as CNN reported yesterday.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement on Wednesday.
More Millions for Israel
Last week, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent a letter to congressional leadership asking for $225 million in additional US financing for “Israel’s Iron Dome”, which is a short-range rocket defense system designed to intercept rockets and artillery shells fired from a range of between 4 and 70 kilometers.
As Israel already receives billions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money each year, this new financing would be in addition to the $351 million that’s already under discussion for Iron Dome in fiscal 2015. It would bring total funding for the project to $576 million, compared with the $176 million requested by the Pentagon for the fiscal year that began on October 1.
Lindsey Graham: Israel faces life-or-death struggle
Many Democrats and Republicans in Congress are still working to provide millions of dollars for Israel, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. is one of them, who lately said: “Let’s stop playing games,” calling the assistance a necessity for the “life-or-death struggle Israel faces”.
Susan Rice is Proud of Her Country Support to Israel
From her side, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice says the United States will increase its investment in Israel’s Iron Dome missile system next year.
During her speech at the National Leadership Assembly for Israel in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Rice said: “I’m proud that with his enthusiastic support – referring to President Obama -, the United States will more than double our investment in Iron Dome in 2015.”
At the same time, a protester was detained at the event for interrupting Rice’s speech. The protester was shouting “Israel is killing innocent people in Gaza.” This is a statement supported by the fact that approximately 80% of Palestinian casualties have been civilians (also known as non-combatants).