Ties with US called crucial to tackle Hezbollah

The Foreign Ministry’s director-general Nissim Ben Shitrit sent a letter on Wednesday to his boss, minister Avigdor Liberman, where he wrote that Israel may “pay a heavy price” in a series of diplomatic and security issues due to the “severe, ongoing and public crisis” in relations with the US administration, Haaretz reports.

Ben Shitrit called on Liberman to initiate an Israeli move to quickly restore ties with the US.

According to Haaretz, which obtained a copy of the letter, titled “Diplomatic challenges and new arrangements by the Foreign Ministry,” Ben Shitrit details the diplomatic staff’s position on a series of issues Israel will need to tackle, according to Ben Shitrit, as soon as a new government is established.

According to the director general, tight coordination with the US is crucial for Israel’s capability to cope with the diplomatic and security challenges it faces.

A French proposal to upgrade the Palestinians from the status of observer state to full member is at the top of the list of diplomatic challenges, followed by Palestinian threats to act against Israel at the International Criminal Court at the Hague and pressure on Israel to reveal its nuclear capabilities from hostile states’ delegates at the IAEA.

In the security arena, Ben Shitrit wrote that the rearming of Hezbollah and military assessments that a new round of violence in the north is not far off require “critical and urgent care.”

“Coping properly with this issue, if not done in tight coordination with the US, is an almost impossible mission.”

The crisis between the countries centers on irreconcilable differences of opinion between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama, centering now on the nuclear talks with Iran.

Netanyahu has also disagreed with Obama on the ways to advance peace talks with the Palestinians, and Obama, unusually for a US president, made his first visit to Israel only during his second term.

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