The Pentagon's chief spokesman said Thursday that the U.S. evacuated 120 Defense Department personnel from Israel who had been in the country for a regular planning conference to go over future military exercises between U.S. and Israeli troops, a report stated.
"This particular planning convention was previously scheduled to wrap this up, but we did accelerate the departures of those individuals in full coordination with our Israeli counterparts," John Kirby, '' the spokesman, said, according to Stars and Stripes.
Israel on Thursday said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and phoning up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled land, as the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out warfare.
Egyptian mediators hurried to Israel for cease-fire attempts but revealed no signs of advancement.
Kirby said that the U.S. has an"ironclad commitment to our bilateral relationship with Israel and to helping them in their self-defense."