Report: Israel agrees to delay ground offensive so US can deploy more air defense systems in region

IDF troops train in a military exercise in the Golan Heights on October 23, 2023 (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
IDF troops train in a military exercise in the Golan Heights on October 23, 2023 (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

Israel has agreed to a request from the US to temporarily delay its planned Gaza ground incursion to give Washington more time to deploy additional air defense systems to protect its troops in the region, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing US and Israeli officials.

The Pentagon is rushing to deploy roughly a dozen air defense systems to protect troops in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from missile fire. Iran-backed proxies have carried out at least 13 attacks since the outbreak of the Gaza war, injuring at least two dozen troops in Syria in one attack and 10 US soldiers in Iraq in another attack. All of the injuries are minor, US officials said.

The US has managed to convince Israel to hold off on invading Gaza until those systems are in place, which could be as soon as later this week, WSJ reports.

But the US request is not the only factor Israel is taking into account, as it readies for a ground incursion. It is also factoring in efforts to supply humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza as well as diplomatic efforts to release more hostages, the officials tell the Journal.

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