The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting that the U.S. has arranged for a charter ship “to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as ‘ammunition’ on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.” The type and nature of the shipment is described as “pretty rare.”
“A senior military analyst in London who declined to be named said that, because of the timing, the shipments could be ‘irregular’ and linked to the Gaza offensive.”
This is the description of the shipment from DEBKAfile:
The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command is hiring a merchant ship to carry the arms on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to Israel in mid-to-late January, according to Reuters. A ‘hazardous material” designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details. One broker said that the size of a shipment of this kind has not been seen for years. DEBKAfile’s military sources note that the Israel’s air, ground, tank and sea offensive against Hamas in Gaza entered its 15th day Saturday, Jan. 10.
It is significant that the shipment will take place just days prior to the Obama inauguration. As I have predicted, there is concern regarding emergency resupply to Israel once Obama takes over. This shipment also will raise the cackles of “peace” groups, like the columnist who compared Israel to Auschwitz prison guards.
UPDATE: The Pentagon is denying that the shipment is related to the Gaza fighting, saying it is for a U.S. stockpile in Israel.” (h/t Let’s Get It Right). Even if this is true, one of the purposes of the prepositioning of equipment and ammunition in Israel is to make the material available to Israel in time of crisis. Maybe the timing is just a coincidence, but the unusual nature of the consignment raises questions.