editorials

Violence reaches new heights in Palestine

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US should not have signed off its largest-ever aid package to Israel given its ally’s vicious attacks

Gulf News
18:11 September 20, 2016

The wave of violence rocking Palestine has shattered several weeks of relative calm, and this week it reached new heights with seven Palestinians shot dead since Thursday. The viciousness of the exchanges, and the continual excessive force used by the Israeli troops foster the growing mayhem which makes clear that the unnatural calm of the past few months was dangerously fragile as the occupying Israeli forces retained the power to reinforce their control whenever they want to.

At such a time it is a great regret that the US signed off last week on a colossal $38 billion (Dh139.5 billion), 10-year security and aid package to Israel, which is the largest that the US has ever granted to an ally. Officials in both countries have rushed to point out that this deal is proof that the American-Israeli relationship is an enduring feature, despite the obvious strains between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama who have clashed repeatedly over the Iran nuclear agreement and Obama’s pursuit of a two-state solution in Palestine.

Nonetheless, there were some signs of America’s deep frustration with Netanyahu’s administration. The Israelis were lobbying for a lot more, but Obama’s White House made it very clear that they did not have a hope after the Israeli’s exceptional interference in Congress when they tried to wreck the Iran nuclear deal. In addition, the White House also did well to stop a special exemption that allowed Israel to spend nearly 40 per cent of American aid locally on weapons and fuel purchases, which ends what has amounted to an American subsidy of Israel’s arms industry.

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