Shraga Brosh, the head of the Manufacturer's Association of Israel, urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to reject a defense aid package deal reportedly proposed by US President Barack Obama, saying it would kill Israeli jobs and be a "mortal blow" to its defense industry.
"The Israeli government's acceptance of Obama's plan would be a mortal blow to Israel's defense manufacturing, and mean the loss of thousands of jobs in Israel in favor of the Americans," Brosh said.
On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Obama wanted to ensure that all the funds in a new 10-year defense package would be spent on US-made arms, which would scrap the 26.3% of the aid that until now was converted to shekels and spent in Israel each year.
For five months, Obama and Netanyahu have been negotiating the terms of a new 10-year military aid package to replace the $30 billion package set to expire in 2018. Netanyahu reportedly sought to raise the figure by $10 billion, for an increase of roughly $1 billion a year, including guarantees for missile defense.