Monday, May 22, 2017

 

70% OF NEW SETTLEMENT CONSTRUCTION IS OUTSIDE BLOCS.

JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

LUKE 21:28-29
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

EZEKIEL 20:47
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

MALACHI 4:1
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

70% of new settlement construction is outside blocs, group claims-Peace Now says building up 34% in 2016 from year before; Yesha Council slams data as misleading-By Times of Israel staff and Jacob Magid May 21, 2017, 1:01 pm

Some 70 percent of settlement construction in the West Bank last year took place outside the so-called settlement blocs, a settlement watchdog group claimed in a report released Sunday.According to Peace Now, more than 25 percent of new construction in 2016 also took place to the east of the security barrier, which runs primarily along the pre-1967 armistice lines but also juts into the West Bank to include a number of settlements.However, the report by Peace Now relies on the definition of the blocs as outlined on the 2003 Geneva Initiative, which was rejected by the government of then-prime minister Ariel Sharon. The watchdog therefore considered various large settlements (Efrat, Givat Ze’ev and Ariel) which are situated west of the security barrier to be located to its east, and thus outside of the accepted boundaries, since this would have been the case were the barrier built in accordance with the Geneva Initiative.Israel has vowed to retain the settlement blocs in any future peace deal, with mutually agreed land swaps with the Palestinians.The report also claimed that 10 percent of construction in 2016 was carried out illegally, half of it in unauthorized settlement outposts.According to the report, the largest number of new homes were built in Efrat (221), Modi’in Illit (190), Beitar Illit (140), Alei Zahav (126), Givat Ze’ev (114) and Ma’ale Adumim (97).The report also said that new settlement construction was up 34 percent in 2016 over the year before, totaling 1,814 new homes.Efrat, Givat Ze’ev, and Alei Zahav were considered isolated settlements by the report, though only the latter settlement would likely be viewed that way by the Israeli government.In an interview with Army Radio on Sunday, Peace Now director-general Avi Buskila said the new report showed Israel’s “double standard.”“On the one hand the [state] says we are partners with the Americans and have a dialogue with them, but on the other hand [Israel] approves, under the table, increased construction,” he said.Shilo Adler, who heads the Yesha Council umbrella settlement group, told Army Radio that the Peace Now report was misleading, noting that Israel considers settlements such as Efrat to be part of the major blocs.Adler also said that while the data in the report showed that there is no settlement freeze, there is a “planning freeze.” He said that many of the homes currently being built were first approved some two decades ago.He also slammed the timing of the release of the report, which he noted came a day before US President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel.On Sunday, a senior White House official told the Haaretz daily that Trump will urge Netanyahu to restrict settlement building in the West Bank as part of confidence-building measures in order to lay the groundwork to restart the peace process during his visit to the region this week.“The president has made a general statement regarding his position and he hopes the Israeli government will take it into consideration,” the White House official told Haaretz in a report published Sunday.Settlements have long been one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the Palestinians and much of the international community saying that their expansion threatens the territorial continuity of a future Palestinian state.Despite Trump’s stated opposition to new settlement construction, Israel has approved some 5,500 new homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the US president was inaugurated in January; their announcement has been met with relatively little pushback from the White House.

Netanyahu says will discuss peace efforts with Trump-[AFP]-YAHOONEWS-May 21, 2017

Jerusalem (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he will discuss peace efforts with US President Donald Trump when he visits this week, while the Israeli cabinet considered economic gestures toward the Palestinians.Trump landed in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for his first foreign tour since taking office. He visits Israel and the Palestinian territories on Monday and Tuesday."I will discuss with President Trump ways to strengthen even further the first and strongest alliance with the US," Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting."We will strengthen security ties, which are strengthening daily, and we will also discuss ways to advance peace," he said.Netanyahu also noted the significance of Trump's first presidential overseas trip including a visit to "Jerusalem, the capital of Israel," after Trump seemed to have backed away from his campaign pledge to relocate the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 in a move never recognised by the international community.It later annexed east Jerusalem and considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.Members of Netanyahu's government were set to discuss and approve a series of measures related to Palestinians in the West Bank.The new measures were seen as confidence-building steps ahead of Trump's visit.Netanyahu's office would not provide details on the measures, which were reportedly to include more building permits for Palestinians in the West Bank.Most of the West Bank is entirely under Israeli control and Palestinians face extremely long odds in being granted building permits in those areas, while Israeli settlement building has meanwhile continued.Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz however said that Israel "wanted to improve the lives of Palestinians.""There's an intention to approve measures that would enable (Palestinian) economic development," Katz told army radio, without providing details.

GOP Israel chief: Trump unlikely to announce embassy move during visit-Marc Zell doesn’t believe president will use trip to Jerusalem to fulfill campaign pledge to relocate US mission-By Tamar Pileggi May 21, 2017, 12:50 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The leader of Israel’s Republican group said Sunday he believes US President Donald Trump will not announce the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during his Israel visit on Monday-Tuesday.Mark Zell, chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel, told Army Radio that “I don’t think there will a statement about the embassy during the visit.”Zell’s comments came a day before Trump’s first visit to the Jewish state. Some Israeli and US officials have speculated the US president would use the opportunity to fulfill his campaign pledge to move the US embassy to the Israeli capital.There has been no movement thus far on the pledge, which would break with decades of US policy on the city, as Trump has seemingly backed off the controversial move early in his presidency.The Palestinians and the Arab world have fiercely opposed a potential relocation of the US embassy, repeatedly warning that it could spark violence in the region.On Saturday, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat again warned that moving the US embassy would end the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.The international community, including the US, never recognized the annexation of East Jerusalem after Israel captured it in the Six Day War in 1967. Israel claims the undivided city of Jerusalem as its capital while the Palestinians would like to see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.Last week, a White House official told Bloomberg News that Trump walked back the campaign pledge as part of his wider effort to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.A senior administration official later told The Times of Israel that Trump had yet to decide about the embassy move, and said that any decision to do so “wouldn’t be immediate.”Shortly after Trump’s visit to the Middle East and Europe, the US president will have to make a decision whether or not to waive a 1995 law that mandates the relocation of the embassy but allows the US president to exercise a delay, in six-month increments, on national security grounds.The most recent waiver, signed by Barack Obama, expires on June 1.Trump has made brokering a peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians a high priority, and has already hosted Netanyahu and Abbas at the White House.Trump is scheduled to leave Saudi Arabia early Monday for a 28-hour visit to Israel and the West Bank before heading to the Vatican, Brussels and Italy for NATO and G7 meetings.

Damning with deafening praise: Why Netanyahu is unimpressed by Trump-Israel’s PM and PA chief Abbas will both lavish accolades on the new US president during his visit – but do they trust him enough to take the political risks he will be asking, just to keep him happy?-By Haviv Rettig Gur May 21, 2017, 1:35 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

A line is often drawn from US President Donald Trump’s election last year to Britain’s vote for Brexit, the swelling of support for far-right European politicians such as France’s Marine Le Pen, the rise of blustering politicians such as the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, and so on.The democratic world is in the throes of a “populist surge,” goes the refrain, which could shake the foundations of the liberal world order.It is becoming increasingly common among liberal elites focused on Israel to lump Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in with this narrative of a surging populist right.The connection is shallow, the evidence drawn almost entirely from the news cycle: Netanyahu makes “populist” statements about Arab voters on Election Day; Netanyahu is backed by many of the same forces as Trump: the Sheldon Adelsons and Republican Jewish Congresses of the American Jewish right.But does this convenient narrative correspond to a complex reality? Netanyahu is not really a populist, and certainly no Trump, both because he is not actually popular even among many of his own voters, and because he does not believe that his political identity is rooted in the upending of an established political order or elite.But there is a deeper divide between the two leaders, one that will become ever more apparent as Trump pushes ahead with his peace initiative in the coming months and finds that his hunger for a legacy collides with Netanyahu’s fear of what he sees as irresponsible concessions: Trump lives and thinks in the moment, in flashes of political ego and fleeting media scuffles. Netanyahu sees himself at the wavefront of a long and demanding history.In 2013, at an event in the US Congress marking the end of then-ambassador to the US Michael Oren’s term in Washington, Netanyahu described this sensibility in stark terms (the quote is recalled in Oren’s memoir “Ally”).“History is not just a flat chronicle of events,” Netanyahu said. “History is an understanding of the forces that work, the values that shape present action and direct the future. If you have that knowledge, you are empowered in ways that you can’t get by watching the nightly news or reading the morning editorials. We live in an ahistorical age when many people’s memories go back to breakfast, but if you’re armed with that insight you have immense power for good.”This was no mere quip. It is Netanyahu’s defining vision of himself.In his book “The Founding Fathers of Zionism,” the eminent historian Benzion Netanyahu, the prime minister’s late father, once identified a “conspicuous dividing line in our history – a kind of cross-section between two great epochs: Our people, which in its distant past produced many individuals who excelled at perceiving the future, transformed in its period of exile into a nation that seems to have been struck by a blindness in this respect. It is astonishing that at no period in the annals of our exile, until the beginning of our struggle for emancipation [in the 18th century], can we discern an awareness of that which is coming into being, or a prognosis of what the near-term future might bring. We did not see the coming of the greatest catastrophes (such as the expulsion from Spain) even very close to their occurrence, and therefore we always experienced them as ‘bolts from the blue.'”With the coming of political Zionism, the elder Netanyahu explained, Jewish leaders reclaimed for themselves the power of foresight, a process of “grasping the meaning of present-day trends, understanding their direction, significance and influence, and assessing the outcomes of their collisions one with another. Understand these processes properly and you have already seen the outlines of the future.”It is hard to imagine a more perfect antithesis to Netanyahu’s vision of himself than the current American president-Benzion Netanyahu wrote those words in praise of his mentor, the Zionist thinker and activist Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky, he wrote, saw in this sort of vision “the entire essence of statesmanship.”Netanyahu’s critics frequently deride the flowery and often tendentious historical references that pepper his speeches, with their references to exile, the Holocaust and other catastrophes. But the prime minister is a student of his father, gleaning from him a defining sense of responsibility to a deep past and a belief that the most important trends and facts in a nation’s political life are not those that find expression in the news cycle.It is hard to imagine a more perfect antithesis to Netanyahu’s vision of himself than the current American president.Trump does not display any sense of history. He thinks and acts like an entertainer, as hungry for the audience’s attention as the audience is for his antics. Even when the White House speaks of “legacy,” it refers to Trump’s future reputation, not to any sense of responsibility for a history older and larger than the current administration.Much has been made of Netanyahu’s supposed joy at Trump’s election. Netanyahu is close to Republicans in his views and temperament. His own policy views are deeply informed by American ideas. A voracious reader, he is more likely to be caught in the Knesset halls carrying an English-language book than a Hebrew one — and almost always written by an American author. Yet by sheer bad luck (from his perspective), Netanyahu’s three-year term in the 1990s coincided with Bill Clinton’s presidency, and his three terms since 2009 with Barack Obama’s.Here, then, is his chance to finally lead Israel with a pro-Israel Republican in the White House.Or so many observers assume.But for Netanyahu, Trump is hardly the stolid Republican propelled by the principles the Israeli leader feels he shares with the GOP. He is a wild showman. No one has yet sifted through the noise of Trump’s neverending theatrics to any bedrock of ideas that might be said to drive the American president. Perhaps there is no such bedrock, or perhaps it is there but Trump is not the sort of man who can articulate it. In any case, there is no ground floor here from which a proper theory of his intellectual world might be constructed.In Netanyahu’s view, the small community of people who stand at the helm of human affairs is divided not between left and right so much as between the impatient ignoramus and the considered planner.When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Netanyahu’s critique of Trump’s predecessor Obama was not, at its core, that the former president was “anti-Israel,” but that he was ignorant and egotistical. Obama was cleverer than the current president, but ultimately not wiser: demanding a painful settlement freeze in 2010 without delivering a Palestinian return to the negotiating table, playing coy with regional allies like Saudi Arabia while reaching grand bargains with sworn enemies like Iran. Driven by a preoccupation with his legacy rather than a nuanced policy vision — again, in Netanyahu’s estimation — Obama acted brashly and drove peace and regional stability further away. A wiser policy that took Palestinian political culture and its dysfunctions into account might have brought the sides closer to peace, but Obama’s sense of his own redemptive historical role drove him to blunder foolishly about and waste the goodwill and political capital he initially wielded in the region.Before he’s a Republican, Trump is simply Trump. His views are impossible to pin down, his temperament impossible to really predict. In Netanyahu’s view, he arrives in this region wielding an ego the size of Obama’s and an ignorance that surpasses even the laughably unsuccessful — again, to Netanyahu’s mind — fumbling of the previous president.Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders plan to welcome Trump with pomp and circumstance, lavishing praise on the American leader and pronouncing their full-throated backing for his as-yet amorphous peace initiative. This is not a sign of trust in Trump, but of their calculation that words are more important than substance to the new administration, that this president is best handled as a reality television star rather than a hard-nosed policy challenge.There is thus an inverse relationship between the intensity of the accolades Trump will receive and the likelihood that either leader is about to make the sort of desperate political gamble, risking his leadership and legacy, that peacemaking might entail.Neither Netanyahu nor Abbas will risk all for a president whose essential commitment, in their view, is to his own ego and legacy, and not their long-term success.

PSALMS 83:3-7
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they (MUSLIMS) have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,(JORDAN) and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, PALESTINIANS,JORDAN) and the Hagarenes;(EGYPT)
7 Gebal,(HEZZBALLOH,LEBANON) and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA,ARABS,SINAI) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)

Israeli-American coalition takes on ‘enemy’ aircraft in the south-Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit, pilots from US, Israeli Air Forces fly together in annual Juniper Falcon air exercise-By Judah Ari Gross May 21, 2017, 2:58 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

An Israeli-American aerial coalition squared off against enemy forces this month in southern Israel, sustaining heavy losses, but learning invaluable lessons along the way, an IDF official said Sunday, speaking to reporters at the end of a two-week exercise.This month, the US and Israeli Air Forces dominated the Jewish state’s southern airspace for the annual Juniper Falcon exercise, staging mock dogfights and bombing runs against an enemy nation: Stallion.The Stallion forces were, in fact, Israeli forces. The air force’s Flying Dragon Squadron, also known as the Red Squadron, played the role of enemy aircraft in the drill.Though the Flying Dragon Squadron operates F-16 fighter jets, in the exercise they behaved like Sukhoi-35, MiG-29 and MiG-21 jets. The Stallion military also used SA-2, SA-6 and SA-22 anti-aircraft batteries against the US-Israeli coalition forces, the IAF officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to his sensitive position.The enemy country — often referred to as the “Red Team” — was deliberately a fabrication, as opposed to representing a specific country, though its Russian-made air power was reminiscent of several real countries, notably Iran and Syria.Fighting against Stallion was a coalition — the “Blue Team” — made up of American and Israeli F-15 and F-16 fighter jets, the officer said.The Americans, the IAF official said, were “very organized” and “showed tremendous bravery” in the exercise.The US Air Force pilots’ style favored “high risk” and “aggressive” flying, going into missions at high speed and attacking targets “very violently,” the officer said.On the other hand, the Israeli pilots who made up the “Red Team” took their job as the enemy seriously as well.“The opposition was very harsh. They did everything to spoil [Blue Team’s] plans. The MiGs and Sukhois were unforgiving to mistakes,” the official said.The exercise was based in the IAF’s Ovda air base, just north of Eilat, but the simulated fighting took part throughout the Arava desert.The drill was divided into two main aspects: attack and defense.On attack sorties, the coalition forces had to penetrate enemy airspace and target convoys or missile launch sites.They flew in three basic teams, known in the air force as “packages,” the officer said. One was tasked with taking out the enemy MiGs and Sukhois; the second with “maintaining air superiority” by targeting the surface-to-air batteries on the ground; and the third with carrying out the actual bombing runs.“It was three packages that had to plan the mission together, to solve the riddle we presented them with, including lots of tactical elements, like identifying targets, bringing down targets, creating aerial superiority,” the officer said.“They all depended on one another, and only cooperation let them reach their goals,” the air force official said.During these attack runs, the coalition forces would send up about 24 planes and lose between three to eight of them, the officer said. The average number of losses for the Blue Team was five, he said.“If they flew very well, it would be like five percent [loss]. If they flew poorly, it would be closer to 30 percent,” the air force officer said.On defense missions, the coalition had to patrol the skies, keeping out attacking enemy aircraft.The Israeli and American pilots were responsible for defending specific sites, like control towers or congregations of allied forces.“It’s totally different flying, a totally different experience. It’s a different mode in your head,” he said.The Red Team’s job was, of course, “to infiltrate, to get in alive with bombs and attack the targets of the Blue country,” the officer said.On defense, the Blue Team’s losses were much greater than in the attack runs, he said.Following the exercises, the two air forces would debrief and review the runs.“After the flights, we sat down and went over: who shot down whom; who attacked whom and when,” he said. “We’d figure out what the joint lessons were for all of us.”According to the officer, one of the main takeaways from the exercise was the importance of communication.The American-Israeli Blue Team worked in English, which presented a challenge to some of the Israeli pilots, who are used to conducting operations in Hebrew.“They had to make up all kinds of codes between themselves that represented different things so that they could work together and defeat the opposition,” he said.Later this year, Israel will host its largest-ever aerial exercise in Ovda — known as “Blue Flag” — bringing in seven air forces from around the world.For the first time, Indian aircraft will train in Israel as part of Blue Flag, as well as France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland and the US, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the IAF’s international affairs chief, told Defense News earlier this year.Officers and other representatives from nearly 40 countries will also attend.“People are seeing there’s a lot to learn from Israel,” Hecht said. “We provide a sort of battle lab in which forces can hone a spectrum of skills needed to combat growing threats.”In March, Israel and the US took part in an international exercise in Greece, along with the United Arab Emirates and Italy.The 11-day drill consisted of “complex air operations” and also included naval and ground forces, according to Greece’s air force.That reportedly included training exercises against the Greek air force’s S-300 missile defense battery, the same type of system used by Iran.

After Saudi arms deal, ministers fret about Israel’s military edge-Yuval Steinitz warns Riyadh is a ‘hostile country,’ says Washington should have consulted with Jerusalem before inking agreement-By Tamar Pileggi and AFP May 21, 2017, 12:01 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Two Likud ministers on Sunday voiced concern about Israel’s ability to retain its qualitative military edge in the Middle East, in the first government responses to the $110 billion arms package signed between the US and Saudi Arabia over the weekend aimed at bolstering the Sunni kingdom’s defenses against Iran.“Saudi Arabia is a hostile country and we must ensure that Israel’s qualitative military edge is preserved,” Likud Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday, according to the Kan news broadcaster.The energy minister indicated Washington did not consult with Israel before inking the massive arms deal.“Hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons deals is something we should receive explanations about,” he said.Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz on Sunday similarly expressed reservations about retaining Israel’s military edge, while voicing cautious optimism Trump’s visit would strengthen regional anti-Iran alliances.“President Trump’s visit strengthens the anti-Iranian camp in the region and presents an opportunity to advance regional security and economic cooperation as a foundation for regional peace,” Katz said in a statement.“A regional coalition should be built under American leadership to block and push back Iran,” he said. “At the same time Israel’s qualitative military edge should be maintained.”The $110 billion deal for Saudi purchases of US defense equipment and services came at the start of an eight-day trip that will also take Trump to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the Vatican and meetings with leaders in Europe.Trump on Saturday hailed the series of business deals, with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir saying they were worth more than $360 billion overall.“That was a tremendous day. Tremendous investments in the United States,” Trump said after talks with Saudi King Salman. “Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs.”White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Twitter that the defense agreement was the “largest single arms deal in US history” and said other deals amounted to $250 billion in commercial investment.On Saturday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the intent of the arms deal was to support Riyadh “in particular in the face of malign Iranian influence and Iranian-related threats which exist on Saudi Arabia’s borders.”He said the arms package “bolsters the kingdom’s ability to provide for its own security and contributing to counter-terrorism operations throughout the region.”Earlier this month, a senior White House official told Reuters the US-Saudi Arabia arms deal would not erode Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East.The State Department said the wide-ranging deal would cover five specific areas, including border security and counterterrorism, maritime and coastal security, air force modernization, air and missile defense, and cybersecurity and communications upgrades.“Included are offers of extensive training and support to strengthen our partnership and the Saudi armed forces.”The package includes tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers, and helicopters. On the naval side there are “Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships, helicopters, patrol boats, and associated weapons systems.”The release said that it would also include Patriot and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system (THAAD), which was recently deployed by the US in South Korea to defend against the threat of North Korean missiles.



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