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US, Israel Finalize Massive Military Aid Deal

President Obama and PM Netanyahu (Photo: White House/Pete Souza)

After months of hashing out details, the United States and Israel have arrived at an agreement on a massive military aid package. The Times of Israel reports that the two allies will today sign what the State Department calls "the single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance in U.S. history":

The deal is set at $38 billion and will be signed on Wednesday in a ceremony at the State Department in Washington. It replaces a previous deal that is set to expire next year.

The acting head of Israel’s National Security Council, Yaakov Nagel, who touched down in Washington earlier Tuesday, will sign the agreement on behalf of Israel.

Under the terms of the deal, Israel pledged not to seek additional funding from Congress for the next decade. The agreement also includes a provision curtailing Israel’s ability to spend the funds on its own arms industry over the next six years — a key area of dispute during talks. Washington had wanted Israel to spend a larger amount of the funds on American-made products. Currently, Israel can spend 26.3 percent of US military aid buying from its own domestic defense companies...

The US has either jointly developed or financed all three tiers in Israel’s missile defense program — Iron Dome (short-range missile interceptor), David’s Sling (medium range) and Arrow (long range).

Tags: US-Israel Relations

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