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Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief

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Technical Report

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Congressional Research Service Washington United States

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For decades, strong bilateral relations have fueled and reinforced significant U.S.-Israel cooperation in many areas, including regional security. Nonetheless, at various points throughout the relationship, U.S. and Israeli policies have diverged on some important issues. Significant differences regarding regional issuesnotably Iran and the Palestiniansarose or intensified during the Obama Administration.1 Since President Donald Trumps inauguration, he and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have discussed ways to advance and strengthen the U.S.-Israel special relationship, and security and stability in the Middle East.2Since late 2016, a number of developments involving President Trump, the Obama Administration, Israeli leaders, and various other actors including Members of Congress have affected U.S. policy. They include several controversies regarding Israeli-Palestinian issues amid the U.S. presidential transition, including the following. The future of U.S. policy regarding a two-state solution and regional Arab involvement. Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A possible move of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Amid the transition, Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have also sought to influence the incoming Administrations stance on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA and Irans role in the region.

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  • Government and Political Science

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