Hagel: US committed to Israel's military edge

April 22, 2013 - 6:29 AM
MIdeast Israel Hagel

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel looks at pictures of Jews killed in the Holocaust during a visit to the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem's Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, Israel, April 21, 2013. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel held out hope Sunday for a nonmilitary way to ending the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, but he also emphasized Washington's willingness to let Israel decide whether and when it might strike Tehran in self-defense. (AP Photo//Baz Ratner, Pool)

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is assuring Israel that the Obama administration is committed to preserving and improving the Jewish state's military edge in the Middle East.

Hagel made the pledge at a news conference Monday at Israel's ministry of defense in Tel Aviv.

Hagel says the U.S. will permit Israel to buy various new weapons, including U.S. missiles and advanced radars for its strike aircraft.

Hagel also reiterates that the United States will leave it to Israel to decide whether and when it needs to attack Iran to stop it from building a nuclear bomb.