(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Gaps remain between Israel and the U.S. in negotiations on a new 10-year memorandum of understanding for security assistance. America is offering annual aid of $3.4 billion, up from the current level of $3.1 billion. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, has asked U.S. President Barack Obama to raise the amount of annual aid to $5 billion.
The current memorandum of understanding is set to expire in 2017. In the past two years, special extra assistance—totaling around $1.5 billion annually—has been provided by the U.S. to Israel for the development of ballistic missile defense systems.
Earlier this month, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon visited Washington, DC, and met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. Ya’alon requested that funds for missile defense development be included in annual aid for the coming decade, which would bring the amount of annual aid to around $5 billion. The Americans, however, have not been willing to commit to providing missile defense development funds for the next decade, preferring to keep those funds separate from the general security assistance package.
Any U.S. agreement with a foreign nation involving budgetary support must be approved annually by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.