Israeli-Palestinian “flag war” brews as violence flares

US vows continuing support as Israel heads to elections

The United States on Tuesday promised to maintain its strong support for Israel as its ally heads to its fifth election in less than four years.

The snap election — in which former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to seek a comeback — is taking shape weeks before Joe Biden is set to pay his first visit to Israel as president.

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“I don’t expect political developments in Israel will have implications for what we are seeking to accomplish together with our Israeli partners — or with our Palestinian partners for that matter,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said.

“The strength of our relationship does not depend on who sits in the Oval Office. It doesn’t depend on who sits in the prime minister’s chair in Israel,” Price told reporters.

“This is a strategic partnership between our two countries. It will continue to be a strategic partnership between our two countries in the coming weeks, in the coming months as the process plays out.”

The unwieldy coalition government led by the right-wing Naftali Bennett and centrist Yair Lapid had sought to tone down and depoliticize Israel’s relations with the United States, Israel’s crucial ally.

Netanyahu had rallied behind the US Republican Party, especially in its hawkish line on Iran, alienating members of Biden’s Democratic Party which historically supported Israel.

Read more: Biden’s Mideast visit will have ‘significant’ impact: Israel’s Lapid

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