Israel and the United States conclude 10-year defence assistance pact

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Israel and the United States concluded an agreement to extend defence assistance for a decade.

Jacob Nagel, the Israeli prime minister’s national security adviser, signed off on the deal with his U.S. counterpart, Susan Rice, on Tuesday, and there will be a formal signing ceremony at the U.S. State Department on Wednesday. The Israeli and U.S. governments issued a joint statement announcing the deal without providing details.

The package, according to reports, will be for $38 billion US over 10 years, up from the $31 billion over the last decade but below the $45 billion sought by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It was unclear if the deal represented a real increase because missile defence co-operation was rolled into the agreement; previously such co-operation was considered separately. The provision to include missile defence in the overall package makes it harder for Israel to appeal to Congress for increases.

Additionally, the deal over time reportedly will roll back the approximately 25 per cent of the funds Israel may spend on defence equipment manufactured at home. Instead, the money must be spent on equipment manufactured by the U.S. defence industry.

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