"Israel" to request more funding for laser weapons from Biden
The Israeli occupation is looking forward to the US President's trip to request more funding for its laser missile weapons.
When US President Joe Biden visits "Israel" next month, he will be greeted by a new prime minister and a request for a special budget for the development of laser weapons that will work in tandem with operational air security systems such as the Iron Dome.
The US supplies "Israel" with $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) per year, including $500 million for cooperative missile military initiatives. The latest proposal is intended to boost that component of the FMF, and military sources estimate that it will request roughly $300 million in additional funding.
Rafael and Elbit Systems, two Israeli businesses, are developing laser systems for the interception of missiles and drones, but additional funding is required to finish the work.
Biden is now planning to stop at an Israeli air force facility, where prototypes of the laser systems will be presented, according to the travel plan revealed by officials.
Despite the political upheaval caused by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's decision on Monday to dissolve the cabinet and step down, the request, as well as "Israel's" military goals in general, are still likely to remain on the table. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will be prime minister by the time Biden visits, with an election looming in the backdrop of the conversations.
A senior Israeli source told Breaking Defense that "the relations between the U.S and Israel are solid. The issues that will be on the table during the visit are of utmost importance to both the US and Israel. I’m confident that the talks will be fruitful for both sides.”
Giora Eiland, former head of the Israeli National Security Council, stated that the interests of both the US and "Israel" "are symmetrical in the main issues like Iran and Gulf, so it is simply not relevant who is the Israeli prime minister that will discuss the issues with Biden.”
Saudi nuclear power
Another topic that Israelis are anticipated to raise with Biden during his visit is Saudi Arabia's continuous ambitions to attain nuclear power, Breaking Defense reported.
The Saudis are promoting a project to build a nuclear reactor to generate electricity and recently stated that the primary candidates for winning the project are a Russian firm, a Chinese company, and a South Korean company.
The exclusion of the American corporation Westinghouse from the competition has caused alarm in Washington.
Biden is anticipated to discuss the matter during his visit to Riyadh since Washington does not want firms from its two main rivals to win such a critical deal with its Gulf ally. "Israel" has similar worries, but according to Israeli government sources, the Saudis are dissatisfied with two US criteria for dealing with the American company: a Saudi vow not to enrich uranium on its soil and signature of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
According to security officials, "Israel" is concerned that a Saudi nuclear program would evolve into a military nuclear program - which "Israel" already has - sparking a regional arms race with Tehran.
An Israeli report last year by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) detailed that the Kingdom's interest in the nuclear realm is "not new, nor is the concern that under certain circumstances and conditions, Riyadh could pursue a military nuclear course. Senior leaders in the kingdom have referred to the issue on more than one occasion and have stated that the kingdom will acquire nuclear capability if Iran does so and that the kingdom seeks control over all of the components of the nuclear fuel cycle.”