Netanyahu threatens: If US military aid insufficient, we’ll wait for next president, Haaretz

Barak Ravid/ Haaretz/

The Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu, during Sunday’s cabinet meeting threatened that if the American aid does not sufficiently address the “Israeli military needs,” Israel will wait for the next president to sign the military agreement with, Haaretz reported.

Haaretz cited Netanyahu as saying that “It’s not yet clear that we will come to an agreement.”

“[We] need to see if [we] can achieve a result that will address Israel’s security needs or perhaps we will not manage to come to an agreement with this administration and will need to come to an agreement with the next administration,” Netanyahu added.

Netanyahu’s statement came following three days of discussions between American delegate and Israeli diplomants from the military, PM’s office and Foreign ministry, regarding the size of the aid that the United States would provide Israel and the conditions on its use.

According to Haaretz, a senior Israeli official who participated in the cabinet meeting but asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the subject said the contacts with the American administration are continuing but “nothing has yet been finalized and it will take more time.”

The current Israeli-American militray agreement was signed ten years ago is due to expire at the end of 2018. As a result of the understanding, the United States has provided $30 billion over a decade in “security assistance” to Isrel.

At the beginning of the negotiations a few months ago, senior figures in the defense establishment expressed the position that Israel is in need of a $5 billion annual increase to the amount of American assistance. Netanyahu himself has told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset that he is interested in coming to agreement with Obama on the sum of “$4 billion plus.”