United States and Israel sign historic $38 billion military aid package

Aid package largest in U.S history; Netanyahu thanks Obama Administration and Congress; Obama reaffirms US “steadfast commitment” to Israel’s security, calls for two-state solution

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The United States will provide Israel with $38 billion in military aid over the next decade, both nations signing a new memorandum of understanding Wednesday. It is the largest aid package given to a foreign state in U.S history and the largest military aid package provided to Israel.

As per the renewed aid package to Israel, the United States will provide Israel with $5 billion in missile defense aid as well as F-35’s. Israel will receive approximately $3.8 billion a year for the next decade.

Israel’s National Security Council Head Jacob Nagel and United States Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon signed the deal in Washington on Wednesday, Nagel stating on the agreement “Israel has no better friend, no more reliable strategic ally, no more important partner than the United States of America. Everyone can see and feel the special relationship between our countries and our people. The military assistance package that the United States has generously agreed to provide Israel is not taken for granted and will help us shoulder the enormous defense burden that we face. It will enable Israel to better defend itself, by itself, against an attack. I feel great pride over this agreement. It’s an unprecedented, historic agreement. The U.S. has never signed such a large agreement with any other country. This comes amid rough times on the American side, as their defense budget is tightening.”

President Obama referred to the aid package as “the most recent reflection of my steadfast commitment to the security of the State of Israel,” stating that “The continued supply of the world’s most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats.”

The President also addressed the peace process and two-state solution. He stated Wednesday “ It is because of this same commitment to Israel and its long-term security that we will also continue to press for a two-state solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite the deeply troubling trends on the ground that undermine this goal. As I have emphasized previously, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine.

Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the United States in a televised address where he spoke of the strength and assistance the military aid package will contribute to Israel’s security, as well as the “strong and steadfast” relations between Israel with the United States. He stated Wednesday evening “a historic agreement will be signed between the United States and Israel. This agreement will ensure an unprecedented level of security assistance to Israel over the coming decade.

He emphasized the package as historic, stating “this is the largest military assistance package that the United States has ever given to any country. The agreement will assist us in continuing to build up our military strength and in continuing to improve our missile defense. This is of course a very important achievement for the State of Israel, and Israeli citizens can rightly be proud of it. “

He went on to thank President Obama and his administration, as well as Israel’s friends in the United States Congress as well as “the American people for their great support, which crosses party lines and embraces the length and breadth of the United States,” adding “Many in the United States understand that investment in the security of Israel strengthens the stability of the unstable Middle East and serves not only our security interests but those of the United States as well.”

Netanyahu thanked Israel’s negotiation team “led by Acting National Security Advisor and Head of the National Security Council, Brig. Gen. Jacob Nagel and the head of the IDF General Staff Planning Directorate, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin. They did outstanding work, responsibly, discreetly and professionally, until they achieved the optimal result.”

The Prime Minister ended his address by speaking of the United States’ “strong and steadfast” relations with Israel, stating “This agreement illustrates a simple truth: relations between Israel and the United States are strong and steadfast. This does not mean that we do not have disagreements from time to time, but these are disagreements within the family. They have no effect on the great friendship between Israel and the United States, a friendship that is expressed in this agreement, which will greatly assist us in continuing to build up Israel’s strength in the coming decade.”