Update: U.S. Navy Considering Ending Docking in Haifa Over China Deal

Cranes discharge containers from a cargo ship at Nantong Port.

JERUSALEM - Israel’s national security cabinet is reviewing a Chinese contract to control the Haifa port after sources in the United States Navy indicate they may no longer dock in the port.

The Jerusalem Post broke the story on Monday, which followed on from concerning media reports earlier in the year. According to the Post,

A representative of the Sixth Fleet said the navy’s partnership with Israel remains “steadfast.”

“Our US Navy ships frequently visit Haifa, Israel, for both US-Israel bilateral military activity and port calls,” Commander Kyle Raines told the Post, when asked whether China’s coming presence might affect fleet operations in the Mediterranean city.

“For now, there are no changes to our operations in Israel,” the commander continued. “I can’t speculate on what might or might not occur in 2021.”

Three sources familiar with the matter said that due to concerns that US defense officials privately shared with their Israeli counterparts, the Israeli government has launched “a review of the agreement at a high level,” specifically among members of the inner cabinet.

The story relates how it is unclear whether Israel has any possible legal recourse for pulling out of the deal with China.

We suggest you read Callum Wood’s article entitled “China Gains Control of Israeli Ports” for the real significance behind China’s moves in Israel.