The United States plans to provide Israel with its most extensive military aid package in history.
The US Assistant Secretary of State, Andrew J. Shapiro claims that the increased US military assistance should help Tel Aviv reach tough decisions in peace talks with the Palestinians.
He said that there is “hope that the administration’s expanded commitment to Israel’s security will advance the process by helping the Israeli people seize this opportunity and take the tough decisions necessary for a comprehensive peace,” Haaretz reported.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington, D.C., Shapiro said that the US plans to bolster Israel’s security by providing funding for the Iron Dome anti-missile systems.
Washington also plans to sell Israel new fighter jets.
Shapiro said that since Israel is facing some of the toughest challenges in its history, US President Barack Obama administration has asked Congress for nearly $2.775 billion in security assistance funding “specifically for Israel” in 2010.
“It is the largest such request in US history,” he added.
And now for another take on the same story...
US President Barack Obama has signed the foreign aid budget law for 2010 which includes the granting of $2.775 billion in security aid to Israel.
The Israeli Ynet news website reported that the budget signed by Obama, for the first time, also grants $500 million to the Palestinian Authority.
The aid also includes $100 million to be used by US General Keith Dayton, who is in charge of training the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.
The aid will be handed over to the Palestinians under the condition that the American taxpayers’ money will only be transferred to a Palestinian government whose members accept the conditions of the international Quartet – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. The conditions include recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past agreements signed with the Tel Aviv regime.
The $3 billion aid is comprised of $2 billion in security aid and $1 billion in civilian aid.
The annual American security aid to Israel increased to $2.4 Billion after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office and gradually relinquished the civilian aid.
The aid is accompanied by special additions to the Israeli military industries for the development of technologies, particularly in the missile field.