Middle East Monitor / December 6, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying hard to persuade US President Donald Trump to give Israel underground bunker-buster bombs to use them in attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, Israeli political circles reported.
The Hebrew version of Al-Monitor website quoted the circles as saying that Netanyahu is trying to convince the different parties to give him five months in the presidency of any future government, considering that this period may be enough for him to push the US administration to give Israel the required bombs.
According to a politician close to Netanyahu, interviewed by Al-Monitor, the US’s entry in the decisive presidential election year is an opportunity to persuade Trump to accept the request because of his desperate need to win.
The same politician stressed that this timing is a strategic opportunity that should not be missed, noting that Trump could also agree to hold a defence alliance with Israel, which would contribute to strengthening Tel Aviv’s ability to face any possible consequences of Iran’s attack.
The politician pointed out that Israel failed to convince successive administrations in Washington to give them “enormous” bombs that are capable of penetrating underground fortifications, inside which Iranian nuclear facilities were built.
He also noted that Israel could obtain these bombs once a joint defence agreement was signed with the United States, a goal that Netanyahu has admitted to having been working to achieve.
For his part, Journalist Ben Caspit, who prepared the report in Al-Monitor, said that Netanyahu is trying hard to market the idea of signing a defence agreement with the United States, although all the former and current military leaders reject this idea, as it reduces the margin of military and political manoeuvre in the face of Israel. So, Tel Aviv will have to coordinate in advance with Washington before carrying out any military action against any external party.
The journalist pointed out that those close to Netanyahu are repeating this argument by saying that he does not seek a full defence alliance, but rather “limited” and only related to the confrontation of Iran.
Ben Caspit quoted Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is close to Netanyahu, as saying that war could possibly erupt between Iran and countries in the region, including Israel, within the next half year. This is why Netanyahu needs to be in power because of his strong relations with the current US administration.
According to Ben Caspit, Netanyahu believes he can “make history” if he is given an extra half a year in power, referring to his plan to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities.
He explained that Netanyahu’s plan includes waiting until Trump’s administration announces its settlement plan known as the “Deal of the Century,” using the Palestinian rejection of it to justify the annexation of the Jordan Valley, and then signing a defence alliance with Washington that would give Tel Aviv the opportunity to obtain bunker-buster bombs for underground fortifications.
He further pointed out that the Prime Minister of the occupation believes that his success in the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities will help him to hide the fact that he is the first prime minister in the history of Israel who continues to rule despite the issuance of indictments against him.