US and Israel finalise record-breaking military aid deal

US and Israel finalise record-breaking military aid deal
The United States has signed its biggest ever pledge for military aid in history, promising Tel Aviv $38 billion in weaponry over a ten year period.
2 min read
15 September, 2016
US Under Secretary of State and Israel's acting national security advisor signed the deal [Anadolu]
The US finalised its biggest military aid deal in history on Wednesday, when it signed an agreement with Israel to hand over $38 billion over the next ten years for new weaponry.

The deal will allow Israel to buy advanced war planes and other forms of military hardware to boost its missile "defence shield."

US Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon and Israel's acting national security advisor Jacob Nagel signed the deal at the US state department, bringing to an end months of wrangling over the details of the package.

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and some Republicans wanted a bigger deal for Israel, but this still marks a greater increase on previous pledges.

Meanwhile Barack Obama has not had the warmest of relations with Netanyahu as the US President has been snubbed on a number of occasions by the Israeli premier.

Netanyahu and the Israeli right-wing have been unhappy with the reproachment between the US and Iran, which culminated in the signing of a nuclear deal that saw decades-long sanctions on Iran dropped.

[Click to enlarge]

Israel has in turn moved closer to Russia, despite Moscow's troubled relations with the US.

Washington has also stepped up its criticism of Israeli settlement building on occupied Palestinian land.

Despite these differences, officials from both sides were keen to stress the sturdiness of the special bond between the countries.

"For as long as the state of Israel has existed, the United States has been Israel's greatest friend and partner, a fact underscored again today," Obama said.

"This commitment to Israel's security has been unwavering and is based on a genuine and abiding concern for the welfare of the Israeli people and the future of the State of Israel."

The deal is set to cover the period from 2019 to 2028 and will see Israel receive $3.3 billion per year in foreign military financing - up from $3.1 billion currently - and $500,000 in funding for missile defence.

Israel is already the biggest single recipient of US military aid from the state department's foreign military financing budget. It also receives other forms of direct support from Pentagon funds for specific projects.