Senior US officials clarified during a series of meetings with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz Washington has no intention of downsizing military aid to Israel, despite the drastic cuts in the US budget, according to a Finance Ministry statement Friday.
Steinitz met with the senior White House and Congress officials in Washington, where he was attending an International Monetary Fund conference, during which he was expected to meet with finance ministers from all over the world.RELATED:NYC ads call to end US military aid to IsraelBarak: US military aid at risk if no peace deal reached
The announcement comes as a report said that US President Barack Obama secretly authorized significant new aid to
the IDF in 2009
, including the sale of 55 deep-penetrating bombs known as
GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators were delivered to Israel in 2009,
according to American weekly magazine Newsweek
According to the report, the military sale was arranged behind the scenes when political ties were tense as Obama tried to stop settlement building in the West Bank.
Israel first put in a request for the bunker busters in 2005, but it was rebuffed by the Bush administration.
In 2007, Bush informed former prime minister Ehud Olmert that he would order the bunker busters for delivery in 2009 or 2010, according to the magazine.
The Marine Corps general who served until August as the vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, James Cartwright, told Newsweek
that the military chiefs had no objections to the sale.
According to Cartwright, there was a concern about “how the Iranians would perceive it,” and “how the Israelis might perceive it.”