Netanyahu: U.S. to Boost Military Aid Amid Saudi Arms Deal

Israeli Merkava tanks roll near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip as they return from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal enclave on August 5, 2014, after Israel announced that all of its troops had withdrawn from Gaza.

The Times of Israel reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the US had agreed to boost the defense aid it gives to Israel and would ensure that the country maintained its qualitative advantage, even as the defense minister expressed concern that the massive military deal signed between Washington and Riyadh could spark a “crazy arms race.”

A day after US President Donald Trump concluded his 28-hour visit to Israel, the prime minister said that despite the massive arms deal that Trump signed with Saudi Arabia, “the US has pledged to maintain Israel’s qualitative advantage in the Middle East.” “Three days ago, the US added $75 million to defense aid,” Netanyahu said, speaking at the Knesset at an event to mark 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War.

While thanking the US and its president, who vowed to stand behind Israel, Netanyahu stressed that the lesson of the Six Day War was that only Israel can guarantee its own security.

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