Israel Asks US to Boost Weapons Supply

Tel Aviv has asked Washington to increase its weapons capability in the Middle East as part of efforts for Israel to have a strategic advantage over its Arab neighbors.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on an official visit to Washington, met with US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Wednesday to discuss Israel’s military capability.

According to officials familiar with the subject of the Wednesday meeting, Netanyahu discussed the possibility of Israel buying unspecified "defense products" from the United States, AFP reported.

Meanwhile, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed the focal point of the meeting, saying the "conversation focused largely on our efforts to help Israel continue to bolster its security in the face of regional threats."

"In addition to ongoing efforts to assist Israel’s deployment of systems to protect against ballistic missile and rocket attacks, Secretary Gates committed to also help Israel develop new defenses against emerging threats to its security," Morrell said without further explanation.

The report comes as Israeli daily Haaretz revealed in a report that Israel had made a military equipment request that included Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM ) bombs for its Air Force.

The JDAM bombs have widely been used in many Israeli military offensives, including in the 2006 war in Lebanon and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008.

According to Haaretz, the request was made with Israel arguing that the parts and supplies would be used in attacks on many targets during a possible "prolonged war" in the future.

Washington which is involved in multi-billion-dollar arms deals with Tel Aviv describes Israel’s military edge in the region as being of interest to the US, vowing to remain committed to ensuring such advantage.

The request for the military supplies comes as Israel is widely believed to be the sole possessor of about 200 nuclear warheads in the Middle East.

Tel Aviv has also maintained a longstanding nuclear ambiguity policy under which it neither confirms nor denies its nuclear arms capability. It has also defied international calls, refusing to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and disarm.

(Press TV)

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