WASHINGTON – The United States has agreed to provide Israel’s military with $38 billion in a 10-year deal that also involves concessions by the illegal Jewish state.
The US and Israel will sing a record multibillion-dollar deal to provide military assistance over a decade – the largest such agreement ever with any country.
Following 10 months of frequently tense negotiations, the two allies will sign the deal at a ceremony planned for Wednesday (today) in Washington DC.
Israel has long been a major recipient of US aid, mostly in the form of military assistance, against a backdrop of an ebbing and flowing conflict with the Palestinians and other neighbours.
The agreement is being described as the “single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance in US history”, but it also reportedly involves major concessions by the Israeli government, which will no longer be able to seek additional annual funds from the US Congress over and above the new package.
Under the agreement, Israel’s ability to spend part of the funds on Israeli military products will be gradually phased out, eventually requiring all of the funds to be spent on American military industries, the Al Jazeera reported citing American media.
The new US-Israel agreement also includes, for the first time, funding for missile defence programmes. Under the previous arrangement, US Congress approved funds for missile defence separately and on an annual basis.
The deal comes despite mounting frustration within US President Barack Obama’s administration at Israel’s policy of building settler homes on occupied Palestinian territory.
Washington has warned that Netanyahu’s policies are putting at risk hopes of an eventual peace deal.