WASHINGTON - Israel
fears the rise of the eastern front amidst changes occurring in the region, Iran's strengthening and the American forces' scheduled withdrawal from Iraq next year, the prime minister told the defense secretary of the United States.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
met with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday and the two discussed the Israel Defense Forces' ability to prepare to face a renewed eastern front.
Gates and Netanyahu discussed Israel's security measures in the frame of a permanent agreement with the Palestinians, and addressed ways to prevent the infiltration of rockets, missiles and other weapons into the territory of the future Palestinian state.
The two officials also spoke of the increased armament with conventional weapons in the Middle East, and how Israel must operate to maintain its qualitative advantage.
In the meeting, gates also briefed Netanyahu on the US security grip in Afghanistan and in other parts of the world.
During Netanyahu's visit, the United States also gave a letter to Israel enabling cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear activity between the two countries, despite Israel not having signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.