Ross, Hale here to discuss Israel's security needs

January 20, 2011 13:27

Senior White House advisor Dennis Ross and US envoy George Mitchell's top aide David Hale arrived in Israel to discuss Israel's security needs under any future agreement with the Palestinians, the Prime Minister's Office announced Thursday.

The goal, according to a statement issued by the PMO, is to preserve Israel's qualitative military edge in any future accord.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said in the past that he would agree to a Palestinian state only if it would be demilitarized, meaning – in part -- that Israel needed to retain a presence on the Jordan River to prevent the type of arms smuggling that takes place from Syria to Hizbullah in Lebanon, and from Egypt into Gaza.

This is Ross' third visit to the country in a month. Mitchell has not been back since mid December.

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