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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 June, 2005, 07:32 GMT 08:32 UK
Israel-US relations 'in crisis'
Yuval Steinitz
Yuval Steinitz believes the US demands are illegitimate
Israeli arms sales to China have provoked a "crisis" in relations with the US, according a senior Israeli parliamentary official.

Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs and defence committee, made the remarks in an interview on Israel radio.

The sales have angered the US government which fears its own technology may could be used against Taiwan.

The US provides $2bn (1.1bn) of military aid to Israel every year.

Washington has refused to negotiate with Israel on the issue of the Chinese arms deal for months.

The US has also imposed sanctions on the Israeli defence industry, according to media reports.

It has suspended several joint weapons and technology projects with Israel, the reports say.


Israel has supplied China with Harpy Killer unmanned attack drones, designed to target radar systems.

"There is a crisis that has been going on for almost a year," Mr Steinitz told Israel Radio.

"There is no doubt that relationship with the United States is critical to Israel. But, with all the enormous importance of US diplomatic, economic and military help, Israel must keep its independence and also some reciprocity in this relationship," he added.

"This is an illegitimate demand which also has an aspect of humiliation to it," he said. "We cannot agree to everything."

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