TEL AVIV, May 28 (Reuters) – Israel has phased out one of
its two types of U.S. attack helicopter in favour of using more
drones, military officers have told Reuters, reflecting a need
for lighter and cheaper air power to counter Islamist guerrillas
on its borders.
They said Israel’s last squadron of Cobras, built for
tank-hunting and eluding surface-to-air missiles, was pulled
from service late last year. The decision was previously kept
under wraps but disclosed in an increasingly public feud between
the Defence Ministry and Treasury over budget cuts.
JERUSALEM/LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria bought Israeli surveillance drones years ago that might have been used to hunt for more than 200 girls held by Islamist rebels, but poor maintenance has left them grounded, two official sources and the aircraft’s manufacturer said.
“To the best of our knowledge, these systems aren’t operational,” Tsur Dvir, marketing officer for Aeronautics Defense Systems, a firm based south of Tel Aviv that supplied Nigeria with Aerostar unmanned aerial vehicles, said on Tuesday.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The number of Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank could grow by as much as 50 percent by 2019, Israel’s ultra-nationalist construction minister said on Friday.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of their future state and blamed settlement expansions for the breakdown last month of U.S.-mediated peace talks with Israel – a position supported in part by Washington, but rejected by the Israelis.
JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israel is poised to lose out on a deal valued at up to $13 billion to build a missile defense shield for Poland, an Israeli defense official said on Wednesday, citing lobbying by Washington on behalf of rival U.S. systems.
As compensation, the manufacturer of the Israeli David’s Sling missile defense system may get a role in a future U.S.-led arms sale to Warsaw, the official, who has been briefed on the competition, told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
TEL AVIV (Reuters) – The Israeli co-creator of hit spy thriller television series “Homeland” believes his native country should become a prime location for U.S. television shows about the Middle East and is working hard to make this happen.
Writer-director Gideon Raff is at the helm of Fox drama “Tyrant” and NBCUniversal archeological mystery “The Dig”, two U.S. productions under way simultaneously in Israel – a first for the country’s small but active entertainment industry.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel fired back on Friday at a senior U.S. official, who blamed Jewish settlement construction in part for the breakdown of peacemaking with the Palestinians, saying he himself had done nothing to help the negotiations.
The blunt riposte signaled continued, deep tensions between Israel and Washington over the U.S.-led talks, which collapsed last month amid bitter recriminations.
JERUSALEM, May 9 (Reuters) – Budget-strapped Israel is
pressing the United States to conclude a deal extending defence
aid beyond 2017, when Washington’s current $3 billion annual
payouts to its Middle East ally expire, officials said on
They said a swift agreement on future U.S. grants would help
Israel’s military draft a five-year austerity plan accommodating
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative government.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel insists Iran be denied uranium enrichment capabilities under a potentially imminent nuclear deal, a demand that risks opening a new Israeli-United States rift, officials said on Wednesday.
The dispute, a major topic for a visit to Jerusalem by U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday and Thursday, appeared part of Israeli efforts to weigh in on world powers’ difficult talks with Tehran before a July 20 date for a deal.
Israel played down on Thursday suggestions that anti-Semitism in Ukraine is linked to Kiev’s standoff with Russia, offering a more measured assessment than the Kremlin or the United States as it avoids taking sides in the East-West confrontation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Tuesday it was stepping up efforts to encourage military enlistment by Christian Arab citizens, a community long closer to the larger Muslim minority in identifying with the Palestinians.
Israel’s Christian Arabs number about 160,000, some two percent of the Jewish state’s eight million people, and the expected number of conscripts – now about 100 – will rise in coming months, a senior military officer said.