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Israeli PM criticised after Obama opposes extra military aid

The US and Israeli governments have been locked in negotiations for months over a new 10-year defence aid package for the Jewish state.

Published: 15th June 2016 05:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2016 05:46 PM   |  A+A-

By AFP

JERUSALEM: Israel's opposition leader accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday of jeopardising the country's security, after US President Barack Obama announced his opposition to $455 million in additional military aid.

The US and Israeli governments have been locked in negotiations for months over a new 10-year defence aid package for the Jewish state.

Israel already receives more than $3 billion per year in US military aid in addition to other spending, such as on the Iron Dome missile defence system.

The current agreement expires in 2018 and Netanyahu has been putting pressure on Obama to increase the offer even further.

The White House announced in a letter to Congress Tuesday it was opposed to an additional $455 million in anti-missile defence aid.

In response, opposition leader Isaac Herzog accused Netanyahu of "playing games" in the negotiations.

"We're losing a critical portion of the defence aid because of Netanyahu's egotistical games," Herzog wrote on Facebook.

"Should Israel be left without an aerial defence system in the next war, we can set up the commission of inquiry into how Netanyahu makes decisions related to Israel's security."

In a statement, Netanyahu said there was no question of a cut in aid, but there was a discussion between Congress and the White House about the size of the increase.

He said anti-missile defence aid would definitely increase.

"The attempt to make the dialogue with the US into a domestic political tool is inappropriate," it added.

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