The Pentagon‘s chief spokesman said Thursday that the U.S. evacuated 120 Defense Department personnel from Israel who were in the country for a routine planning conference to discuss future military exercises between U.S. and Israeli troops, a report said.
“This particular planning conference was already scheduled to wrap up this week, but we did accelerate the departures of these individuals in full coordination with our Israeli counterparts,” John Kirby, the spokesman, said, according to Stars and Stripes.
The paper said the personnel are now in Germany.
Israel on Thursday said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory, as the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out war.
Egyptian mediators rushed to Israel for cease-fire efforts but showed no signs of progress.
Kirby said the U.S. has an “ironclad commitment to our bilateral relationship with Israel and to helping them in their self-defense.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report