Defense Secretary Hagel to visit Israel this month: official

JERUSALEM Tue Apr 9, 2013 1:18am EDT

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gives a speech on fiscal defense spending at Ft. McNair in Washington April 3, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gives a speech on fiscal defense spending at Ft. McNair in Washington April 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will pay a first visit to Israel since taking office later this month to bolster the allies' cooperation in the Middle East, an Israeli official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Hagel and his counterpart, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon who is also newly appointed, discussed the visit by phone last month, the Israeli Defence Ministry said. The official said Hagel would visit between April 21-23.

Hagel's visit will follow a trip by Secretary of State John Kerry who is currently visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories to try to restart long-stalled peace talks and after a visit last month by President Barack Obama.

Iran's perceived nuclear threat, an issue that is regularly on the agenda between the two allies, is certain to feature highly in discussions.

The United States heavily funds Israeli missile defence systems that protect against short-range rockets and missiles that militants in the Gaza Strip launch at Israel, as well as the threat of long-range missiles.

(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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“Until the Israeli government complies with international law and the Geneva Conventions on Human Rights that are adhered to by the rest if the free world, and DISMANTLES ALL ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS AND REPATRIATES BACK TO ISRAEL ALL 500,000 SETTLERS, there will be no peace settlement.

The only solution is to stop all bilateral trade with the community of democratic nations thereby forcing the Likud government to cease its illegal expansion into Arab land, which will inevitably end in extensive bloodshed and possibly a global nuclear war if the West continues with its policy of appeasement.

Apr 09, 2013 2:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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