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Originally published Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 7:15 AM

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Hagel: US committed to Israel's military edge

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.

AP National Security Writer

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TEL AVIV, Israel —

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.

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