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US and Israel sign $38b military aid package: Official
September 16, 2016
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WASHINGTON: The United States will give Israel $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade, the largest such aid package in US history, under a landmark agreement signed on Wednesday.

The deal, whose details were reported by media earlier, will allow Washington’s chief Middle East ally to upgrade most of its fighter aircraft, improve its ground forces’ mobility and strengthen its missile defense systems, a senior US official said.

While the package constitutes the most US military aid ever given to any country, it entails concessions by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to officials on both sides.

Those include Israel’s promise not to seek additional funds from Congress beyond what will be guaranteed annually in the new package, and to phase out a special arrangement that has allowed Israel to spend part of its US aid on its own defense industry instead of on American-made weapons, the officials said.

Nearly 10 months of drawn-out aid negotiations 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.

Peres improving

Meanwhile, in a separate development former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres saw “real improvement” on Thursday but remained in serious condition after the 93-year-old suffered a major stroke, his doctor said.

The country has been on edge over the condition of the elder statesman, Israel’s last remaining founding father, after he was admitted to hospital on Tuesday feeling unwell and suffered a stroke with internal bleeding while there.

Agencies
 

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