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Israel’s concern grows as US government partial shutdown continues

Saturday 12/January/2019 - 07:14 PM
Sada El Balad
Rabea Yehea -Sada El-Balad
The partial US government shutdown entered a record 22nd day، as US President Donald Trump remains steadfast in his demand to build a Mexico border wall and Democrats in Congress determined to refuse the funds.

The current shutdown appears destined to last a few more days، at the very least، after Democrats rejected Donald Trump’s demands to include $5.7 billion for a southern border wall in a spending bill.

The current crisis between the Democrats and Republicans over the continuation of the government shutdown has negatively affected Israel especially after the failure to pass two drat laws on Tuesday. The Democrats blocked the passing of two draft laws، first of which is related to the US military aid to Israel، while the second is aimed at opposing BDS boycotts of Israel.

The BDS movement is a global campaign that seeks to put pressure on Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It calls for Palestinians to be given equal rights to Jewish citizens of Israel and for a right to return for Palestinian refugees.

The rejection of the bill appeared to be as much about the shutdown as it was about opposing Israeli policies. President Trump’s government shutdown over his demand for billions of dollars in funds for a new border wall is now in its third week.

Democrats said they will block the bill until government is reopened. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer opposed proceeding to the legislation. Other Democratic senators who supported the substance of the bill followed suit.

This caused major echoes in Israeli and reflected a state of disappointment in Tel Aviv.

Democrats threaten to take legal challenge if Trump declared a national emergency to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall، scouring federal law and court precedents.

The preparation comes as leaders of both parties become increasingly convinced that Trump will see a national-emergency declaration as the only possible way to secure the billions of taxpayer dollars he is seeking to build the wall and end the three-week partial government shutdown، which has become the longest in U.S. history.

Blocking the Israeli-related draft laws was not the only loss caused by the US government shutdown crisis، as a number of Israeli military companies will bear huge losses on the background of contracts signed with Trump’s administration for the construction of the 3،360-kilometer-long border wall.

‘Magal Security Systems’ is the first Israeli company to contract with the US administration to build the border’s wall in order to make huge profit، as the company's executive director said، “the US government will increase its security budgets in the coming years. We certainly look forward to getting a share of it. "

In 2017، another Israeli company named "Elbit Systems for Military Industries and Advanced Technology" has signed also a contract with the US administration for providing all technology and equipment needed for building the US-Mexico border wall.

Reports indicate that such a company is charged with providing the US side with equipment، surveillance cameras، radars and advanced equipment that will be attached to the watchtowers to help local authorities detect infiltrators along the border wall.

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