According to documents revealed by the investigative magazine The Intercept, an American base called “Site 512” monitors the skies for missile attacks against Israel.
According to The Intercept, the Pentagon has awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to build facilities for American troops at a secret base in the Negev desert, some thirty kilometers from Gaza. Code-named “Site 512”, this American base monitors the skies for missile attacks against Israel.
Focused on Iran, not Hamas
This base with its hyper-sophisticated facilities failed to detect the Hamas attack on October 7, because it was focused on Iran 700 miles away, according to The Intercept magazine.
Although President Joe Biden and the White House insist that there are no plans to send US troops to Israel as part of the war against Hamas, there is already a US military presence in Israel.
The $35.8 million installation for U.S. troops, neither publicly announced nor previously reported, was mentioned indirectly in a contract announcement made by the Pentagon on August 2, 2023. “Sometimes something is treated as an official secret not in the hope that an adversary will never discover it, but rather [because] the U.S. government, for diplomatic or political reasons, doesn’t want to recognize it officially,” Paul Pillar, former chief analyst at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, told The Intercept, saying he had no specific knowledge of the base. “In that case, the base may be used to support operations elsewhere in the Middle East, for which any recognition that they were staged from Israel, or that they involved cooperation with Israel, would be embarrassing and likely to provoke more negative reactions than the operations would otherwise.”
Fighter jets and two aircraft carriers
The magazine points out that “Site 512 was not created to deal with the threat posed to Israel by Palestinian militants, but with the danger posed by Iranian medium-range missiles.”
But since the Hamas attack “the Pentagon has considerably reinforced its presence in the Middle East. Following the attack, the U.S. doubled the number of fighter jets in the region and deployed two aircraft carriers off the Israeli coast.”
The history of US-Israeli relations could be behind the base’s non-recognition, said an expert on US military bases abroad.
“My hypothesis is that the secrecy is a holdover from the days when US presidential administrations tried to pretend not to take Israel’s side in the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts,” David Vine, professor of anthropology at American University, told The Intercept. “The announcement of the opening of U.S. military bases in Israel in recent years probably reflects the abandonment of this pretense and the desire to more publicly proclaim support for Israel.”
Code-named “Site 512,” the longstanding U.S. base in Israel is a radar facility that monitors the skies for missile attacks on Israel.
On October 7, however, when thousands of Hamas rockets were launched, Site 512 saw nothing — because it is focused on Iran, more than 700 miles… pic.twitter.com/VS5ZFUC4Q0
— dana (@dana916) October 30, 2023