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Pentagon Withdraws 120 Military Personnel from Israel

Pentagon Withdraws 120 Military Personnel from Israel

Friday, 14 May, 2021 - 07:45
Mourners carry the body of 26-year-old Palestinian Hussein al-Titi, who was killed by Israeli forces in al-Fawwar refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on 12 May 2021 (Reuters)

The Pentagon on Thursday confirmed reports that it pulled US military personnel from Israel, saying some 120 service members were evacuated in a C-17 transport aircraft to Germany on Thursday.

Several US commercial airlines also canceled flights to the Israeli airports.

United Airlines canceled flights to and from Tel Aviv through Saturday. American Airlines delayed flights between New York and Tel Aviv through Saturday.

In the meantime, US President Joe Biden said he'd spoken at length to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier. He voiced confidence in a swift end to the hostilities.

"My expectation and hope are this will be closing down sooner than later," Biden said at the White House.

“One of the things I’ve seen thus far is that there has not been a significant overreaction [by Israel],” he added.

“The question is how they get to a point where there is a significant reduction in the attacks, particularly the rocket attacks that are indiscriminately fired into population centers,” he added.

The president noted that various offices in his administration have been in frequent contact with not just the Israelis, but also the Egyptians, the Saudis, and others.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US wants a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Psaki said that the US had reached out to Egypt, Tunisia and other regional partners "who can play an integral role in influencing Hamas to de-escalate" with the goal of reducing violence and achieving stability.

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