Israel's fears over $110 billion US arms deal with Saudis

In advance of President Trump's arrival in Israel, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet has said the agreement with the Saudis is 'something that should trouble us'


Likud ministers have expressed concern over America's $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia signed during President Trump's visit to the kingdom. 

“Saudi Arabia is a hostile country and we must ensure that Israel’s qualitative military edge is preserved,” said Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. "Hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons deals is something we should receive explanations about. This is definitely something that should trouble us."

Although voicing similar reservations, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz hoped President Trump’s visit would strengthen anti-Iran alliances, presenting "an opportunity to advance regional security and economic co-operation as a foundation for regional peace.”

White House spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted that the defence agreement was the “largest single arms deal in US history” and that other deals were worth $250 billion in commercial investment.

In a speech in Saudia Arabia today, President Trump stressed the importance of combating extremism in Islam. It was not a battle between faiths but between good and evil, he said.

"That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires."

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered ministers to join the welcome party when the President Trump arrives at Ben-Gurion airport on Monday to start his Israel visit. The ministers reportedly did not want to attend because of the amount of time they would have to wait in the sun.

The scheduled itinerary includes meetings with Mr Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and visits to the Kotel and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City.

On Tuesday, President Trump is expected to travel to Bethlehem to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. According to the White House website, he will “urge Palestinian leaders to take productive steps toward peace".


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