US, Israel agree to 38-billion-dollar, 10-year military aid package

The United States and Israel inked an agreement Wednesday worth 38 billion dollars in military aid over the next decade.

Under the new deal, Israel will receive 3.8 billion dollars annually starting in 2019.

As part of the memorandum of agreement between the two governments, Israel will not ask the US Congress to increase the aid package.

"As I have said repeatedly, America's commitment to Israel's security is unshakeable," US President Barack Obama said in a White House statement. "Over the past eight years, my administration has time and again demonstrated this commitment in word and deed."

He said that the new agreement "is just the most recent reflection of my steadfast commitment to the security of the state of Israel" with the single largest pledge of military assistance in US history.

The current agreement, which expires in 2018, earmarks 3 billion dollars worth of aid to Israel per year, though the amount received is usually higher from annual congressional supplements.

Obama said the US commitment to Israel is "based on a genuine and abiding concern for the welfare of the Israeli people and the future of the state of Israel."

The commitment also figures in to the United States continuing to press for a two-state solution to resolve the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict despite "deeply troubling trends on the ground" that have undermined the goal.

The 10-year package will help Israel update much of its fleet of fighter jets and increase missile defense, among other priorities.

Israel remains the leading recipient of US foreign military financing.

Last update: Thu, 15/09/2016 - 00:54
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