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September 3, 2019 10:13 am

Netanyahu, Trump Said to Be Mulling Dramatic Diplomatic Gesture

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US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on May 23, 2017. Photo: US Embassy in Israel. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in talks with advisers close to US President Donald Trump about the possibility of arranging a dramatic diplomatic gesture ahead of Israel’s September 17 election, according to a report in Israeli daily Haaretz.

One option reportedly being discussed is an American statement of intent for the creation of a “defense pact” with Israel.

Such a “pact” could consist of a statement by Trump that the United States is committed to Israel’s defense, or it could be a more significant declaration by both leaders of their intention to enter into a formal mutual defense agreement at some future date.

The two countries already have very close military and intelligence cooperation, but the idea of a formal defense pact is highly controversial in the Israeli defense establishment due to concerns that Israel’s operational flexibility would be severely limited by such an agreement.

Two weeks before the April election Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.

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