Israel’s Security Cabinet on Sunday approved the allocation of a $9 billion arms deal with the United States.

The deal, first reported by Israel’s Channel 12, includes the purchase of F-35 and F-16 fighter jets, SH53K helicopters, refueling planes, advanced weaponry and the Eitan, a new-generation armored personnel carrier developed jointly by Israel and the United States.

According to the report, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Defense Ministry Director General Amir Eshel and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi supported the deal, which was approved after seven hours of deliberation.

Israel’s Finance Ministry opposed it, on the grounds that it would require Israel’s taking out $220 million in loans from U.S. banks—a condition that the ministry considers too risky.

The decision to purchase the equipment had been put off for three years, noted the report, but was made on Sunday as a result of pressure from Washington to do so within two weeks, or Israel would lose its place in U.S. production lines, which could result in a two-year delivery delay.


Jewish News Syndicate

With geographic, political and social divides growing wider, high-quality reporting and informed analysis are more important than ever to keep people connected.

Our ability to cover the most important issues in Israel and throughout the Jewish world—without the standard media bias—depends on the support of committed readers.

If you appreciate the value of our news service and recognize how JNS stands out among the competition, please click on the link and make a one-time or monthly contribution.

We appreciate your support.