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Amid growing tensions between the US and Israel over Israeli intelligence-gathering systems, a new report highlights the Israeli security intel community’s role in saving the lives of hundreds of American soldiers.

Last month, the US Commerce Department announced that it had blacklisted two Israeli companies closely linked to the Israeli government.

The two firms, NSO Group and Candiru, were accused of providing spyware to foreign governments which “used these tools to maliciously target” reporters, activists, and embassy employees, harming US interests.

According to a report by Yediot Aharanoth Friday morning, the blacklisting came as a shock to Israeli intelligence and security officials, who expressed dismay at subsequent meetings over what they perceived as a broader campaign by the Biden administration to rein in clandestine operations by Israel.

One Israeli official who participated in one such meeting this week called the Biden administration’s behavior ‘ingratitude’, citing the role of Israeli intelligence in saving American soldiers on multiple occasions, Yediot Aharanoth reported.

“I think that until we understand what we did [wrong], if anything, to cause them [the Americans] to behave the way they’re behaving, we should respond in a similar manner. We need to notify them that we have no idea why Israeli actions in the cyber world raised American ire, but until we can conclusively settle the matter, and to ensure that, God forbid, we don’t harm American national security interests again, we will suspend the flow of information Israel collects to the US intel community.”

“Maybe that way, if there is no one to save their soldiers next time around, they will answer their phones.”

Israeli intel is credited in Friday’s report with helping the US avoid casualties on numerous occasions, including in two high-profile attacks by Iran or Iranian-backed forces against bases housing American soldiers in the Middle East.

The first attack took place on January 7th, 2020, when Iran launched a barrage of missiles against American targets in Iraq, including the Ayn al-Asad base, which housed some 1,500 US personnel.

The ballistic missiles barrage could have resulted in massive casualties among the US forces, had American personnel not been evacuated to reinforced bunkers moments before the attack.

A last-minute warning by Israel to the US, based on information collected by Israeli intel, was critical in evacuating the American soldiers before the attack.

The second incident cited in Friday’s reported occurred on October 20th, 2021, when Iran launched a large-scale drone attack on the Al-Tanf base on the eastern edge of Syria, near the Iraqi border.

The base, which houses some 200 US soldiers, was evacuated shortly before the Iranian attack, again thanks to early warning provided by Israeli intel.

No American casualties were reported in the Al-Tanf attack, and no fatalities in the Ayn al-Asad attack, though over 100 soldiers were diagnosed with brain injuries.

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