US-Israel tensions over helicopter use in Gaza
Tel Aviv would buy more Apache aircraft; request will probably be rejected
The Israeli military has requested that the United States buy additional Boeing AH-64 Apache military attack helicopters. The aim is to strengthen the attack capacity of the air force, which has been engaged in air operations against Hamas guerrillas in the Gaza Strip for over two months. However, Washington could reject this request for now, so as not to escalate the conflict in the Middle East.
This was revealed by the local newspaper "Ynetnews". The request was reportedly at the center of a conversation between the Israeli defense minister, Yoav Gallant, and his American counterpart, Lloyd Austin, which was held recently in Israel. These aircraft would add to the two military helicopter squadrons already in action in the Gaza Strip, conducting operations around the clock.
Several defense sources, interviewed by the media, said that Washington has yet to decide on the request, however it is very likely that it will be rejected by the US authorities. So much so that Tel Aviv would have forced its pilots to carry out extra flight hours to support combat and reconnaissance missions.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency