(AP) — WASHINGTON – The U.S. Defense Department has flown about 120 personnel out of Israel as a precaution in light of the ongoing violence there.
That’s according to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, who said the American personnel departed on Thursday on a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane.
They had been in Israel to plan for a future bilateral exercise. Kirby said the conference was scheduled to end this week but the exit was accelerated by a few days.
There has been a dangerous escalation this week between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas militant rulers. Hamas sent a heavy barrage of rockets deep into Israel on Thursday as Israel pounded Gaza with more airstrikes and shells and called up 9,000 more reservists who could be used to stage a ground invasion.