Israel to get $38 billion in US military aid over 10 years

Over the last few years Congress approved an additional $500 million annually to be added to the original base sum, which made the total amount of military aid transferred to Israel annually approximately $3.5 billion.

The State Department announced that the agreement would be signed on Wednesday in a ceremony in the agency's Treaty Room.

In addition, Netanyahu has agreed to end an arrangement that permitted Israel to use 26 percent of American aid money to purchase equipment from Israel's military industries within six years of the aid deal going into effect, and to use 13% of American aid money to buy fuel for the IDF. Israel's preference for spending some of the funds internally had been a major sticking point in the deal.

According to the report, Israel has also agreed not to request additional funds that are not included under the agreement.

Almost 10 months of drawn-out aid negotiations have underscored continuing friction between President Barack Obama and Netanyahu over last year's US -led nuclear deal with Israel's arch-foe Iran, an accord the Israeli leader opposed.

But the Obama administration has been eager to lock in the agreement before leaving office to help bolster Obama's legacy and undercut the criticism that his administration was insufficiently supportive of Israel.

Israeli officials have said predictability about US aid is important to help its military plan ahead.

The pact will not be signed by Obama and Netanyahu, who have had a fraught relationship, but by two of their senior aides, in keeping with the way the two governments have formally sealed previous deals of this type.

A deal now allows him to avoid uncertainties surrounding the next president, whether Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump, and to give Israel's defence establishment the ability to plan ahead.

According to Reuters, the new deal will roll in missile defense cooperation, previously considered separately from defense assistance. The Palestinians have demanded that construction stop before restarting peace talks, and the US considers the settlements illegitimate. Netanyahu said it was "outrageous" that Palestinians wanted their future state to include "no Jews" and rejected the notion the settlements were an obstacle to peace.

The 10-year aid packages underpin Washington's congressionally mandated requirement to help maintain Israel's "qualitative military edge" in the region.

So far, no meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama has been set but it appears that they will meet during the upcoming annual UN General Assembly after the agreement is signed.

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