Ex-U.S. defense chief says Trump Administration cannot ignore Israel's Hezbollah threat

December 20, 2018 08:55
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)


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Leon Panetta, who served as US President Barack Obama's secretary of defense and director of the CIA, said the US cannot ignore developments along Israel's northern border. In an interview with Army Radio on Thursday, he said the US must continue to heed developments there.

"When I was defense minister, we always saw Hezbollah as one of several entities who constantly tried to undermine security in the Middle East," he said. "I hope that the current administration is doing the same." Panetta also said Saudi Arabia must be held to account for the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but calls to sever ties were too far.

"We do not have to sever ties with Saudi Arabia, they are an important ally of ours, but we have to make it clear to Riyadh that the assassination of Khashoggi is an act that will not be done," he said. "I have no doubt that US intelligence has conclusive evidence that the crown prince is behind the murder."

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