Israel wants $5B a year in US aid

Israel wants $5B a year in US aid
Israel has asked the US to increase its military aid from $3 billion to $5 billion a year when its current deal ends in 2017, US sources said on Wednesday
2 min read
05 November, 2015
The relationship between Netanyahu and Obama has been fraught [Getty]
Israel has asked the US for a significant increase in the value of its military aid package, due for renewal in 2017.

The middle eastern state has requested $5 billion a year when its current $3 billion a year military aid package ends in 2017, US Congressional sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

The new deal Israel proposed would be worth $50 billion to Israel over ten years.

However, US officials said the negotiations were still in their initial stages, predicting that the final sum would be between $4 billion and $5 billion, the news agency reported.

It was understood this figure would probably rise after the Iran deal was agreed
"First they have to negotiate with the White House," a senior congressional aide said.

The broad outlines of the deal are likely to be agreed during Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington for talks with President Barrack Obama next week.

The relationship between the two leaders has been fraught. Relations between the two reached a new low after Netanyahu publicly opposed the nuclear deal the US negotiated with Iran.

Before the Iran nuclear deal was publicly announced, the figure Israeli and US officials were negotiating was between $3.6 billion and $3.7 billion, Reuters reported.

It was understood that this figure would probably rise after the Iran deal was agreed. Israel has argued that the deal, which involves raising sanctions on Iran, could directly affect its security by increasing the backing the Islamic Republic can provide its proxies in Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territories and elsewhere.

The $3 billion a year Israel currently receives from the US is a significant contribution to its defence budget, approximately $16 billion in 2013 according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the last year for which the institute has accurate figures.

Israel has also received hundreds of millions of dollars from the US to fund its missile defence shield over the last few years.

US military support for Israel has cost the country billions of dollars. However, there has been little serious debate in the country about the cost of its military support for Israel.

While the US is the richest country in the world, many Americans are relatively poor. More than 45 million out of its population of 320 million live in poverty, including one in every five children. Fifteen percent of US households are food insecure - that is, their members do not earn enough to guarantee they can feed themselves.