Israel is preparing for a full siege of Gaza.
Israel has agreed to delay an expected invasion of Gaza for now so that the United States can rush missile defences to the region to protect its troops there, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing U.S. and Israeli officials.
Israel is also taking into account in its planning the effort to supply humanitarian aid to civilians inside Gaza, as well as diplomatic efforts to free hostages held by Hamas militants, the report said.
Threats to U.S. troops were of paramount concern, it said.
The U.S. military and other officials believe their forces will be targeted by militant groups once the invasion of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory starts.
The United States is hurrying to deploy nearly a dozen air-defence systems to the region, according to the Journal.
Reuters reported on Monday that Washington advised Israel to hold off on a ground assault in the Gaza Strip and is keeping Qatar – a broker with the Palestinian militants – apprised of those talks as its tries to free more hostages and prepare for a possible wider regional war.
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