The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has pledged more cooperation with Israel despite Tel Aviv’s brutal crackdown against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.
During his two-day stay in Tel Aviv, Joseph F. Dunford discussed an annual military aid package worth three billion dollars for Israel to replace the current agreement which ends in 2017. Talks were earlier stalled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in protest against Iran's nuclear agreement with the P5+1 countries - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany - in July.
Tel Aviv spends most of the US aid to buy American military hardware, such as jets and components for missile systems. The latest pledge comes during Israeli violence against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories. Tensions flared after Israel restricted the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces and settlers across the occupied territories.