U.S. officials: No change in procedure for arming Israel

U.S. officials denied reports of a change in the procedure through which the government supplies arms to Israel.

Speaking to reporters on Aug. 14, State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said, “Let me be clear: There has been no change in policy, period.” But she also said, “Given the crisis in Gaza, it is natural that agencies take additional care with deliveries as part of an interagency process.”

Harf was responding to questions based on a report published last week in the Wall Street Journal that the White House is delaying the completion of a sale of Hellfire missiles to Israel. The report also said the Obama administration has made even routine arms transfers subject to White House and State Department approval.

Speaking to reporters at a Department of Defense news briefing on Aug. 14, Rear Adm. John Kirby said: “There is a normal process for the provision to a foreign military sales program of arms and ammunition to Israel.”

But, he added, “It makes sense for us to continually assess and review the process through which those foreign military sales are provided.” — jta