Pentagon says US arms shipment to Israel 'delayed'

Israel offensive has killed so far 900 Palestinians, wounded more than 4000 in 18 days of assult.

Pentagon says US arms shipment to Israel 'delayed'
A U.S. military plan to ship munitions from a Greek port to a U.S. stockpile in Israel has been canceled due to Israel offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Pentagon said on Monday.

Israel offensive has killed so far 900 Palestinians, wounded more than 4000 in 18 days of assult.

The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command issued a tender on Dec. 31 for a ship to deliver 325 standard 20-foot containers of ammunition on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.

Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Greek port had been considered as a possible location from which to transfer ammunition from a larger ship coming from the United States.

But the request to shippers had now been canceled due to safety concerns at the final destination related to the conflict in Gaza, Ryder said.

"The trans-shipment ... via the Greek port of Astakos will not take place," Ryder said.

"I can confirm that the U.S. munition shipment has been delayed and that EUCOM (U.S. European Command) is developing an appropriate course of action to deliver the items to the U.S. stockpile in Israel," he said.

The Pentagon suggested on Friday the shipment was intended "only for the U.S. stockpile" and "not to provide ammunition to Israel", a major buyer of U.S. military equipment, for the massacre in Gaza.

The U.S. military hired a commercial ship to carry a much larger consignment of ordnance in December from the United States to Israel. Ryder said that shipment was also for the U.S. stockpile in Israel.


Reuters
Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2009, 14:35
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