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Trial of the Iron Dome system in the US..(Photo by: RAFAEL ADVANCED DEFENSE SYSTEMS)
Israel should accept US aid offer, finance minister says
By LAHAV HARKOV
06/20/2016
The Finance Minister implied that waiting for the next US president could be seen as intervention in the election.
The US' offer of military aide for the next 10 years is fair, and Israel should accept it before the US election in November, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said Monday.
 
"The offer is positive and fair. Our security services can get by with the current offer," Kahlon said at a Kulanu faction meeting. "I told the prime minister and defense minister, and I say to them today: Adopt the offer and put an end to this saga."
 
The Finance Minister implied that waiting for the next US president could be seen as intervention in the election.
 
"There's no reason we should do things that could be interpreted as involvement in America's internal affairs," he stated.
 
Kahlon added that the US is Israel's most important strategic ally and should be treated as such.
 
"Authorizing the American aide plan, together with the multiyear [defense] budget we authorized, will give the IDF a significant strategic advantage and will allow it to be prepared for any scenario," Kahlon said.
 
The Finance Minister's statements came as Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is in Washington D.C. in part to hammer out details of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) over US defense aide to Israel. The current 10-year package expires in 2017.
 
Israel argues that inflation and increasingly complex threats requires an increase from $3 billion per year to $5b. a year, incorporating missile defense aid, which was not previously included in the MOU.

The White House has asked Jerusalem to take "a particularly challenging [US] budget environment" into consideration.

Michael Wilner contributed to this report.

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