Washington Plans up to $1 Billion Hike in US
Military Aid to Israel
Defense Minister Ya’alon to visit U.S. next week.
By By Gili Cohen
October 22, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Haaretz
" - Israeli and American teams are
putting together a plan to increase annual U.S. military aid to
Israel by as much as $1 billion, on top of the current $3.1
billion, a source close to the military aid process said
Talks on military aid started
recently, and are now being discussed by the professional staffs
of the two countries’ defense establishments. For now, Israeli
defense officials are calling news of the large aid increase
Israel refused to hold talks on the military
aid framework and the “compensation package” it will receive
because of the Iranian nuclear agreement, until that agreement
A senior defense official said that because
the Iranian nuclear agreement would require the arming of
various Arab countries, particularly the Gulf states, “an answer
for preserving [Israel’s] qualitative military edge was required
— and everyone is aware of this.”
The Israeli decision to wait until the final
approval of the Iranian nuclear agreement was not well received
in the Obama administration, which saw the postponing of the
talks as a waste of time in improving Israel’s defensive
capabilities with the American aid.
The agreement on U.S. military aid to Israel
allows Israel to purchase weapons as well as other equipment and
supplies, such as fuel. Among the items included are F-35
airplanes. A significant increase in this aid would allow Israel
to also buy V-22 tilt rotor aircraft, a deal agreed to last year
but postponed due to shortage of funds. The V-22 deal is
estimated at a cost of $1.3 billion.
U.S. military aid to Israel began in 1962,
with the cumulative sum now standing at about $100 billion.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is scheduled to
visit the United States at the beginning of next week for what
is described as a “work trip.” He will meet with his U.S.
counterpart Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. American military
aid is expected to be a main topic of their meeting. Ya’alon’s
visit was scheduled a long time ago, but because of the present
security situation it was cut short by two days.