Middle East

Under pressure, Israel army agrees to alliance with US – Middle East Monitor

During political-security discussions, Chief of General Staff of Israeli Aviv Kochavi has agreed on forming a defence alliance with the US, Arabs48 reported yesterday.

The Arab site reported Haaretz saying that Kochavi agreed to the alliance after coming under pressure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The issue of joining the alliance became more prominent during the elections held in March 2020 when Netanyahu was running for office and described having such ties with the US as a “great issue”. Observers believe Netanyahu was keen to take this step in an effort to boost his standing and make him appear as a global power.

The Israeli army refused to comment on this issue, saying: “We will not speak about discussions carried out by the political level behind closed doors.”

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A security official said that such a step could not be taken without the approval of the army’s chief of staff, but he reiterated that Kochavi had joined this alliance under pressure.

Haaretz said security officials criticised the alliance, noting that Israel has been carrying out mutual defence cooperation with the US without such a deal. They stressed that such a union would have great disadvantages.

The security officials said that such an alliance would be a challenge to Russia, restrict Israeli strikes in Syria, force Israel to consider US interests in Iraq and prevent possible Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Iraq, while the US might ask Israel not to use American weapons in any Israeli mission in the Middle East.

However, Netanyahu’s aides have claimed that Israel would benefit from being defended by its partners in the alliance.

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