Israel Reportedly Withdrawing From Joint Military Exercise With United States
Israel has refused far-reaching proposals from the United States for American-Israeli security cooperation as part of a major joint exercise to be held in Israel in early 2016, Israel’s NRG reported on Friday. The report comes as tensions between the U.S. and Israel have escalated over the recent nuclear deal with Iran.
The joint strategic exercise, code named “Juniper Cobra 16,” is scheduled for the beginning of 2016, and should include wide-ranging cooperation, such as the testing of a missile defense system that will be based on American capabilities.
The date of the joint exercise was set years ago, but problems have emerged in recent weeks. While it appears that the Americans are eager to go ahead with the cooperation for the exercises, in a move that may be the first of its kind, the political echelon in Jerusalem has decided against allowing the IDF to join the initiative.
“As a result, this has created a strange situation: the Americans are willing to grant Israel more than it is willing to accept,” NRG commented.
It is also not Israel’s first refusal of American assistance. During last month’s visit by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon declined to discuss a “compensation package” that the United States intended to propose to Israel following the Iran deal. “Now it appears that the [Israeli] ‘annoyance’ is continuing and even getting worse,” said NRG.
“How will this end?” the publication asked. “It seems that the Defense establishment and the political leadership will wait at least until after the deal is approved in Congress before ending the cold attitude.”