US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu look out a window.
(photo credit: OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA)
Israel and the United States appear to be close to sealing a deal in which Israel would receive a new 10-year military assistance package that could be worth about $4 billion annually.
After almost a year of wrangling between the two countries over the terms of that deal, the Prime Minister’s Office announced on Monday that the acting head of the National Security Council, Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Jacob Nagel, will head to Washington on July 31.
While in the US, he will hold “meetings with his White House counterparts, for the purpose of signing a new MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] between the two countries as soon as possible,” the office said.
It replaces the MoU that was signed between the two countries in 2007, when former US president George Bush was in office.
That MoU gave Israel about $3b. in annual military assistance, not including additional funding for ballistic missile defense and various emergencies.
Last year the total sum was about $3.6b., and Israel had hoped to receive as much as $5b. annually under a new deal. There was also some disagreements over where the money could be spent, and what type of military technology was included in the deal.
“Israel places great value on the predictability and certainty of the military assistance it receives from the United States and on honoring bilateral agreements,” the office said. “Therefore, it is not in Israel’s interest for there to be any changes to the fixed annual MoU levels without the agreement of both the US Administration and the Israeli government.”
It added that Israel will receive $3.1b. from the US in 2017, which is the year that the old deal expires.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>