Israeli security chief in Washington reportedly to sign $38B defence assistance pact

(JTA) – Israel’s acting head of national security is in Washington, D.C., reportedly to sign a deal extending U.S. defence assistance to Israel for 10 years.

Jacob Nagel arrived Tuesday, and according to Israeli media reports, will meet with his U.S. counterpart, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, to sign the $38 billion US military aid package.

The deal, called a memorandum of understanding, is expected to be rolled out officially within days, possibly as early as this week, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the deal.

Nagel left for the United States on Monday night after meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, Haaretz reported. According to Haaretz, the meeting dealt with the final details of the agreement, including how it would be publicly announced.

The final package of $38 billion would be higher than the $3.1 billion of assistance provided annually in the expiring deal, but lower than the $45 billion sought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Reuters, the new deal will include missile defence co-operation, which had been considered separately from defence assistance. The change will make it harder for Israel to appeal directly to the U.S. Congress for increases in missile defence.

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


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