US okays biggest military aid of $38 bn for Israel

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

File photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The US has signed its biggest-ever aid deal of USD 38 billion with Israel. US will provide Israel with advanced planes and weaponry to boost its missile defence shield.

“America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable,” US President Barack Obama said in a statement after the two countries signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

“The new 10-year MoU on security assistance signed with the Government of Israel is just the most recent reflection of my steadfast commitment to the security of the State of Israel,” added the American President.

As per the MoU, the US commits to providing Israel USD 38 billion in military aid over ten years, including USD 33 billion in foreign military financing funds and an unprecedented commitment of USD 5 billion for missile defence.

“This marks a significant increase over our existing funding, and it will ensure that Israel has the support it needs to defend itself by itself and to preserve its qualitative military edge. This is the single largest pledge of military assistance to any country in American history,” said US National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The additional funding will, among other things, allow Israel to update the lion’s share of its fighter aircraft fleet, including the acquisition of additional F-35s and F-15s. It will also enable Israel to substantially enhance the mobility of its ground forces.

Rice also added that the Obama Administration was making another “unprecedented commitment” to the security of Israel and the Israeli people.

“As Israel continues to face the threat of rocket fire, this funding will help Israel to further strengthen missile defence systems like Iron Dome,” she said.

For years, the US’ funding for Israeli missile defence has been subject to the uncertainty of the annual appropriations process.

Meanwhile, the Acting Israeli National Security Advisor Jacob Nagel said the US military assistance package will enable Israel to better defend itself by itself against any threat.

“This unprecedented assistance will also cover a robust missile defence funding through the next decade for the first time and will help us effectively plan and develop multi-layer missile defence systems to counter the growing missile threats in our region,” said Nagel.

(With inputs from agencies)