United States concludes record Israel military aid deal

United States concludes record Israel military aid deal

The agreement will be signed by Nagal and Rice and the signing ceremony is expected to take place Tuesday, though it is possible that it will be postponed to Wednesday. Israel had originally requested at least $4.5 billion a year.

"Even in these days of belt tightening, we are prepared to sign the single largest military assistance package - with any country - in American history".

United States concludes record Israel military aid deal
United States concludes record Israel military aid deal

The new agreement also prevents Israel from spending part of its American aid on its own weapons industry instead of on US-made arms.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens as President Barack Obama speaks during their meeting, Monday, March, 5, 2012, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. That being said, the actual military aid the USA transferred to Israel was greater due additional aid approved by Congress following requests by Israel. Republican critics accuse him of not being attentive enough to Israel's security, which the White House strongly denies, and of taking too hard of a line with the Israeli leader.

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It was unclear if the deal represented a real increase because missile defense cooperation was rolled into the agreement; previously such cooperation was considered separately. Thus, Israel agreed to declare that it would not ask for any additional assistance other than in a case of war.

Obama's relationship with Netanyahu has been famously fraught for years, and ties between the countries worsened significantly when the USA and world powers struck a deal with a nuclear deal with Iran. He conceded to a US demand for a gradual phasing-out, starting in 2020, of the 26.3 percent share of the aid money that Israel can spend on its own military industries rather than on American products.

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Tense and lengthy negotiations over the new military deal have highlighted continuing tensions between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the nuclear agreement with Iran previous year. Graham said: "'Tell the administration to go F themselves.'" Apparently, Israel is siding with the administration on the matter. Over the last few years Congress approved an additional $500 million annually to be added to the original base sum, which made the total amount of military aid transferred to Israel annually approximately $3.5 billion. But little opposition is expected in Congress, where support for Israel's security is strong.

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