Israel troubled by US-Saudi arms deal

Israel is worried by the Trump administration’s massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia, a senior government minister says. 

A senior Israeli Cabinet minister has voiced concern over the new US $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Yuval Steinitz, who is entrusted with the national infrastructure, energy and water portfolios, said Israeli officials will have to “hear the explanations” of the deal when President Donald Trump arrives in Israel on Monday.

Trump signed a defense cooperation deal with the Saudis, who pledged $110 billion effective immediately and up to $350 billion over the coming decade.

Steinitz says it is crucial that Israel maintain its military edge over its Arab neighbors, despite warming ties with Sunni Arab countries like Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia remains a hostile country, and “nobody knows what the future holds,” Steinitz explained. The massive arms deal is “definitely something that should trouble us,” he added.

Previous administrations have committed to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) in the region with, fo instance, the sale of F-35 fighter jets and other military equipment.

Trump is scheduled to land Monday in Israel for a two-day visit that also includes a meeting in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He will then fly to Italy to meet with Pope Francis and Italian President Mattarella, followed by a NATO summit in Brussels and back to Italy for a G7 meeting in Sicily.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff