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Israel Agrees to Delay Gaza Ground Invasion at US Request

(JNS) Israel has acceded to a U.S. request to hold off on its planned ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip so that American forces can position air defenses to protect troops in the region.

“The Pentagon is scrambling to deploy nearly a dozen air-defense systems to the region, including for U.S. troops serving in Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, October 25.

U.S. officials convinced Israel to wait until those deployments are completed, which could be as soon as this week.

Israel is also taking into consideration diplomatic efforts to provide goods to civilians in Gaza and to free the hostages seized by Hamas during its Oct. 7 massacre, U.S. and Israeli officials told the Journal.

However, Washington’s central concern is protecting its troops from missile and rocket attacks as it fears terrorist groups will up their attacks on American forces once an Israeli ground invasion begins.

“The IDF is ready for the maneuver, and we will make a decision with the political echelon regarding the shape and timing of the next stage,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said during a press conference held near the border with Gaza on Tuesday.

“We’ve prepared for this. The IDF and the Southern Command have prepared quality offensive plans to achieve the goals of the war,” he added.

“We are making use of every minute to be even more prepared,” said Halevi. Killing terrorists, destroying infrastructure, collecting more intelligence for the next stage.

“This is our country, our home, and we will defend it by every means,” the general vowed.

In preparation for an expected ground assault to destroy Hamas’s capabilities, the Israel Air Force is striking terrorist assets in Gaza “at a rate not seen in decades,” a military official said on Oct. 20.

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