US sanctions ISRAEL!

Jewish culture & religion - Talk Politics Mideast

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Sale of unmanned aerial vehicles to China irks America


TEL AVIV: The United States has imposed sanctions on Israel after a dispute 
over Israel's sale of drones - unmanned aerial vehicles - to China, 
according to news reports.

The U.S. has suspended co-operation on several development projects and 
frozen delivery of night-vision equipment.

An official at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv said he was aware of the reports 
but would not comment on them. He said the information about the sanctions 
had come from the Israeli Government and not the U.S.

The sanctions have been in place for at least three months and were approved 
by Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, and Condoleezza Rice, the 
Secretary of State, seven months ago, according to the reports.


Washington angry

Although the U.S. is primarily angered by the behaviour of civil servants 
whose tenure stretches back to the Labour Government of Ehud Barak in 2000, 
the crisis threatens Israel's relations with the U.S.

A report in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz concluded: "Following the crisis, 
one can sense the repulsion toward Israel among lower - and middle-ranking 
officials in Washington.

"More and more of them are saying that it is not worth doing business with 
Israel."

The U.S. believes that Israeli officials lied to them about the export of 
Harpy Killer drones to China.

The officials claimed that Israel was merely refurbishing old drones which 
had been exported with American consent. The U.S. argued that the drones had 
been upgraded using new technology which it had shared with Israel.

The U.S. fears that China is becoming increasingly well-armed and may seek 
to settle longstanding territorial and political disputes by the threat and 
use of force.


China's threat

China has repeatedly threatened Taiwan with attack if it declares 
independence, and South Korea and Japan are concerned about China 
translating its size into military power.

The U.S. is also keen that the E.U. maintain its arms embargo on China, 
which was put in place after the crushing of pro-democracy protesters in 
Tiananmen Square in 1989.

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