Report from Reuters claims request for $2 billion increase following military equipment request; Netanyahu to travel to Washington next week
Israel has requested that the United States increase its defense aid by an additional $2 billion.
According to a report from Reuters who quoted a US congressional source, Israel requested the increase begin in 2017 when the current aid package of $3 billion annually is set to expire, and that $5 billion be provided for a decade.
The report claims that officials believed a $1 billion increase could be approved by the Obama Administration, and that “Israel argues that Tehran’s financial windfall from sanctions relief will allow it to increase backing for proxies that are hostile to Israel in Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and elsewhere” a claim that “Washington says is exaggerated”.
The request comes after Israel reportedly requested special military equipment from the United States to be provided over the next 20 years. Among the equipment requested are a F-15 fight jet squadron, V-22 Osprey aircraft helicopter and Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missiles.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to Washington next week, reports suggesting the request was made intentionally before his visit.