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US may cut financial aid to Israel ..


A recent State Department’s report says Israel’s economy has stabilized and that planning should begin now for an orderly termination at the end of the year of the US loan guarantee package, a Press TV correspondent reported on Thursday. 

In 2002, the US granted Israel a loan guarantee package promising funding of up to 9 billion dollars to help its economy against recession. A condition of the aid was that Israel would not use the money for construction in the settlements. 

Haartez has reportedly obtained copies of two versions of an internal report from the Office of Inspector General for the US State Department, which say the US embassy in Israel is believed to have failed completely in its public relations efforts during the Obama administration. 

US diplomats in Tel Aviv face intense challenges generated by Israel’s current cabinet and negative public opinion toward President Obama, the State Department’s report said. 

The report went on to say that much of the Israeli public is suspicious of US efforts to promote negotiations to establish an independent Palestinian state. 

Larry Birns, Director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, warns Israel of more strains in its future ties with the United States. 

“Everyone knows that this relationship is in trouble [and] that the Israelis do not have enormous affection for Obama,” Birns told Press TV. 

“Although it (Israel) has a strong constituency in favor of continuing the status quo, particularly and overwhelmingly in the US Congress, that influence is in the process over the long term of eroding,” he added. 

Birns predicted that if Obama is re-elected to a second and last term as president in 2012, he will become more outspoken regarding Israel. 

Israel’s insistence upon resuming its West Bank settlement construction projects — deemed by the US and the international community as illegal — prompted negotiators of the Palestinian Authority to walk out of a new round of US-sponsored direct talks. 

Palestinians have repeatedly voiced concern over efforts by the Israeli regime to wipe out the Islamic and Palestinian identity of the occupied territories, East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in particular, to effectively render the establishment of a future Palestinian state unfeasible.