US Makes Its Biggest Pledge of Military Aid Ever

Deal with Israel follows months of behind-the-scenes negotiations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2016 12:20 AM CDT
An Israeli Air Force F-15 takes off from Ovda airbase near Eilat, southern Israel.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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(Newser) – The United States will provide Israel's military with $38 billion during the next 10 years, officials said Tuesday, the largest batch of military assistance the US has ever pledged to another country. Following months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the State Department said the two countries had reached a 10-year agreement, with a signing ceremony planned for Wednesday, the AP reports. The US and Israel haven't disclosed the exact sum, but officials familiar with the deal said it totals $3.8 billion a year—up from the $3.1 billion the US gave Israel annually under the previous 10-year deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed in a brief statement that a deal had been reached, but it offered no additional comment. 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. Israel's preference for spending some of the funds internally had been a major sticking point in the deal. In another apparent concession, Israel has agreed not to ask Congress to approve more funds than are included in the deal unless a new war breaks out, said the officials, who weren't authorized to discuss the details publicly ahead of a formal announcement and requested anonymity. (Read more Israel stories.)

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