Ya'alon: Israel's relations with US are excellent

Defense minister says relations with Washington did not suffer even in wake of differences over Iran nuclear agreement, discusses humanitarian aid to Syria

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Tuesday described reported fears that Israel has lost its power to influence the United States in regards to the Iranian nuclear program as "exaggerated."


"The relations between us are excellent and are based on common values and interests," he said. "Even between such friends there can be differences."


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During a tour of the Syrian border in the Golan Heights, Ya'alon added that "there was certainly disagreement between ourselves and the US administration on the Iranian issue and we voiced our opinion.


"Our relations with the US did not suffer, the channels are open including the one between the president and the prime minister. We consider the move in Geneva as a historic mistake. We thought the agreement is problematic and that is why we made our voice be heard."


Commenting on mortar fire directed the IDF in the Golan on Monday he said, "As long as they fire among themselves it's alright. We don't see the situation stabilizing in the near future. We are here to safeguard our interests."


Discussing the treatment Israel provides to wounded Syrians, he explained that "the Syrian villages near the fence are besieged. They (the wounded) have no access anywhere else. We cannot sit by and see the humanitarian crisis on the other side – not as far as the wounded are concerned and not in regards to winter preparedness."


Yaalon's statement was the first time Israel has acknowledged sending supplies into the battle zone.


An Israeli defense official said the shipments have been going on for several months. He said much of the aid has been transferred through the United Nations, and other supplies are placed along the frontier so needy Syrians can get them directly.


Israel has not tried to hide the origin of the goods, and some items, including medicine and diapers, are made in Israel and have Hebrew writing on them, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.



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פרסום ראשון: 12.03.13, 14:24
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