Barak Says US Offered Israel More ‘Incentives’

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has revealed that the US would offer more assistance to Israel, should Tel Aviv extend its partial settlement freeze for 90 days.

"If we reach an agreement, they [US officials] are offering us a deal six or seven times larger," Barak said on Monday.

He also acknowledged Washington’s offer of so-called incentives, which includes twenty F-35 warplanes, Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported.

"We wanted 40 planes, but due to budget cuts, we could only afford 20," Barak said.

"The Americans are now offering to complete the deal in return for a 90-day freeze."

In exchange for a three-month settlement freeze, the US agreed to give the advanced fighters to Israel and to veto any anti-Israeli resolution at the United Nations Security Council.

The ongoing Israeli settlement construction issue put an end to the US-sponsored direct talks between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, an unnamed diplomat told the Associated Press on Monday that Israel would be allowed to complete the construction of hundreds of settler units in the occupied West Bank under the new US-proposed deal.

Barak also noted that Israel must secure a deal with the Obama administration in order to keep the upper hand in the direct talks.

"Either we reach understandings with the Americans to find a way to force the Palestinians to sit around the negotiating table, or the Palestinians and the Arab world will reach understanding with the Americans and it will be us eating frogs," the Israeli minister said.

(Press TV)

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