Israeli and American negotiators have shaken hands on a new ten-year military aid deal from the United States, which will see Israel get $38 billion for the best weaponry in the region.
The record arms package, which concluded ten months of negotiations, prohibits Israel from lobbying the U.S. Congress for more money in missile defence beyond that promised in the Memorandum of Understanding, something Israel bitterly opposed.
It also phases out a past arrangement in which 26 percent of U.S. military aid goes to Israeli defence firms, to boost the state’s home-grown arms industry – another measure staunchly opposed from Jerusalem.
Defence analysts have portrayed the deal as a climb-down by Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been holding out for more money, after having first refused to negotiate at all, in the aftermath of Israeli anger over the nuclear deal with Iran.
The White House is understood to have remained steadfast in its offer, however, and commentators this week suggested Israel had blinked first, fearing that Barack Obama’s offer would not be bettered by either 2016 presidential candidate.
The deal clears the way for the U.S. to sell fighter jets to Qatar and Kuwait, although these models are older and less technologically advanced than Israel’s fleet. IDF