Israel Conducts Missile Test With U.S., Continues Peace Talks With Palestine
Israel's reported missile test in the Mediterranean has everyone on edge.
On Tuesday, the Israeli Defense Ministry said that it conducted a joint military exercise with the United States, shooting a Sparrow missile along a planned trajectory in the Mediterranean Sea in a test of the country's missile defense system. The exercise was reportedly successful.
The missile tests, which were picked up by Russia, heightened tensions: U.S. warships already sit in the Mediterranean, ready to carry out a strike on Syria. Israel is reportedly hoping that the planned strikes will also serve as a warning to their neighbor Iran, whose nuclear weapons program is of particular concern.
Israel has remained relatively silent when it comes to publicly weighing in on a Western strike against Syria. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said only that the country remains "prepared for any scenario."
As the world retains its focus on whether or not conflict is brewing in Syria, Israel is still in the middle of peace talks with Palestine. The sixth meeting in the most recent round of peace talks between the two groups is scheduled for Tuesday, despite growing concern over Syria and rumors that continuing tensions over settlements and police raids would halt the talks.
The meetings between representatives of Israel and Palestine have remained largely secretive, as the media has been held at a distance. Representatives for both sides have so far only confirmed that peace talks have continued as scheduled.
Prior to the current round of negotiations, talks between the two nations had remained at a standstill for nearly five years.
A planned meeting in Italy between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is reportedly being put off due to the continuing uncertainty over action in Syria.