News / USA

US Defense Secretary Pledges Military Support to Israel

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart Moshe Yaalon (not pictured) at the Kirya base in Tel Aviv, April 22, 2013.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart Moshe Yaalon (not pictured) at the Kirya base in Tel Aviv, April 22, 2013.
Scott Bobb
— U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has assured Israel that the U.S. government is committed to preserving Israel's military strength in the Middle East. The remark follows a meeting with the Israeli defense minister Monday on the second day of a week-long trip to the region.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel underscored the Obama administration's support for Israel's security at a news conference Monday in Tel Aviv following his meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

“We are committed to providing Israel whatever support is necessary for Israel to maintain military superiority over any state or coalition of states and non-state actors, given the range of complex security challenges facing the United States and Israel in this region,” said Hagel

Israel is Hagel's first stop of a six-day trip to the Middle East that is expected to be dominated by concerns over Iran's controversial nuclear program, Syria's civil war and political fallout in the region from the "Arab Spring."

Hagel said the U.S. government would allow Israel to buy advanced U.S. missiles designed to take out air defenses, radar for fighter jets, aerial refueling planes and tilt-rotor transport aircraft that can take-off and land vertically.

This is part of a $10 billion weapons sales program announced Saturday that will also include advanced missiles for Saudi Arabia and F-16 fighter jets for the United Arab Emirates. Hagel is to visit those two countries as well as Jordan and Egypt.

Hagel told reporters on his plane Sunday that the weapons' sale to Israel was a clear signal to Iran that both the United States and Israel were prepared for military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear program has peaceful aims but the West suspects otherwise.

Hagel said the U.S. would let Israel decide whether it needed to attack Iran. “Israel is a sovereign nation," he said. "Every sovereign nation has a right to defend itself. That calculation has to be made by the sovereign nation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Hagel is to meet Tuesday, says Iran is close to achieving nuclear weapon capability. U.S. officials say they believe there is still time for diplomacy and economic sanctions to work.

Hagel is viewing Israeli defenses in the occupied Golan Heights. Syrian rebels now control parts of territory on the Syria-held side. Israeli forces have fired on them several times after missiles landed in Israeli-controlled areas.

Officials said security along Israel's border with Egypt's Sinai Desert is also on the agenda, one week after two rockets landed harmlessly in the Israeli Red Sea port of Eilat.

Netanyahu Sunday blamed the attack on Palestinian militants from Gaza who had infiltrated the region and he pledged to respond.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Reagan Davies from: Monrovia
April 22, 2013 3:10 PM
JERUSALEM — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has assured Israel that the U.S. government is committed to preserving Israel's military strength in the Middle East. I personally thank the President Obama led government thank for this new development to Israel(God's apple).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid