10:30 GMT24 June 2021
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    Following a meeting with US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Washington has pledged to give the country’s missile defense program $75 million, as a sign of Washington’s continued commitment to the Jewish state.

    During a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, Netanyahu emphasized the importance of US aid to Israel maintaining military dominance in the region.

    Netanyahu said, "We just finished the visit of US President Trump, the president of our biggest ally," according to Jerusalem Online. "Three days ago, the US added to the aid package another $75 million for our missile defense program. We appreciate this aid and important support very much and yet I’d like to stress this again — history has shown that Israel’s security is dependent on our ability to defend ourselves with our own forces against every threat." 

    Speaking in Jerusalem at the Israel Museum Tuesday, Trump issued a warning to Iran, whose leadership has called for the destruction of Israel.

    Trump reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to stopping Tehran’s nuclear weapons development and what Washington alleges is their support of extremists.

    "Israelis are murdered by terrorists wielding knives and bombs … Hamas and Hezbollah launch rockets into Israeli communities where school children have to be trained to hear the sirens and to run to the bomb shelters with fear but with speed. ISIS targets Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues, and store fronts."

    He added, "And Iran's leaders routinely call for Israel's destruction … Not with Donald J. Trump. Believe me."

    In what appeared to be a veiled sleight to former US President Barack Obama, with whom Netanyahu had a difficult relationship, the prime minister praised Trump for his "bold decision to act against the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and I want to tell you also how much we appreciate the reassertion of American leadership in the Middle East," NBC News reported. 

    Trump also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who said his country is "committed to working with you to reach a historic peace deal between us and Israel."

    Standing next to Abbas, Trump said, "If Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East," and that such an event "would be an amazing accomplishment."

    Trump's administration has tried to contain expectations for the peace process amid the President’s glowing pronouncements, however, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying, "I think [Trump] feels like there's a moment in time here … We have the opportunity to advance the peace discussions between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

    "I think the president has indicated he's willing to put his own personal efforts into this if the Israelis and the Palestinians are ready to be serious about engaging as well."


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    Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli aid, Trump administration, White House, Donald Trump, Israel, Jerusalem
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