'Ya'alon leaving won't affect US aid to Israel'

Washington to give Israel 'the biggest aid package in US history' regardless of who replaces Ya'alon.

Tova Dvorin, | updated: 09:07

Moshe Yaalon
Moshe Yaalon
Miriam Alster/Flash90

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's departure from his post, and from politics in general, will not affect US aid to Israel, a senior official from Washington confirmed Sunday morning. 

Ya'alon's replacement "will not affect the continuation of negotiations between Israel and the US and the scope of the military aid package Israel is to receive from the United States over the next decade," the official stated to Channel 10

"The right thing to do is to sign an agreement with Israel that would guarantee military aid to Israel over the next decade, [in] the biggest aid package any state would have received from the US anytime in history." 

Ya'alon stepped down from his post Sunday, forgoing his farewell ceremony out of disgust for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. 

His replacement, Yisrael Beytenu chairman and former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, will likely replace him by as soon as Tuesday, after coalition agreements are finalized. 

Washington is waiting on official confirmation on the expansion of the coalition and the many changes expected in the ministerial makeup of the current government, the official added. 

Changing of the guard

Last week, State Department spokesperson John Kirby stated that Washington was "looking forward" to working with Ya'alon's successor, and added a note of appreciation - despite a rocky history between Ya'alon and the US. 

Back in January 2014, during Secretary of State John Kerry's intense push on peace talks, Ya'alon rejected Kerry's plans for massive Israeli withdrawals and called him "obsessive" and "messianic."

The US responded with shock, calling the remarks "offensive" and "inappropriate." Ya'alon later apologized for the remarks, stating that he had no intention of "offending" Kerry.

However, the peace talks were torpedoed not long thereafter, when Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas signed a unity deal with Hamas in April 2014.

Ya'alon's opposition to Kerry led to backlash, and in October 2014 sources in Washington said Ya'alon was denied meetings with top US officials during a visit to America.




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