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Netanyahu: Israel accepts U.S. aid cut

June 22, 2013 at 5:06 PM

JERUSALEM, June 22 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed Israeli diplomats in Washington against lobbying to keep its military aid at current levels, an official says.

Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador in Washington, told the Israeli daily Maariv Netanyahu told diplomats the country is not seeking special treatment as the U.S. government puts across-the-board budget cuts into effect, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

Israel is expected to lose about $150 million from annual aid of $3.1 billion.

"Israel did not seek an exception," Oren told Maariv. "We are willing to share in the burden."

Israel was planning to buy F-35 jets from the United States with 19 scheduled for delivery in 2016. Officials say the aid cut could affect Israel's ability to complete the deal.

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