US and Israeli officials are discussing a surge in the US military aid to Israel as the two sides are in negotiations over a new 10 - year military aid package.
Under an existing aid agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv signed in 2007, $30 billion of American taxpayers’ money is currently flowing to Israel, reportedDefense News. However, Israelis are concerned with increasing US arms sales to countries in the region and are asking Washington for a surge in its advanced military aid. According toDefense Newsthe new package would extend through 2027 and would focus on “a full spectrum of Israeli concerns, including military modernization needs, new threats from regional instability and the erosion of Israel’s so - called qualitative military edge(QME) due to US arms sales in the Mideast. ” The US annual military aid to Israel has been elevated from $2.4 billion to $3.1 billion through 2017 under the existing agreement but the scope of the increase in the US Foreign Military Financing(FMF) levels demanded by Israel is not clear yet. An unnamed US official has toldDefense News that QME assessments, which have never been explicitly considered in long-term FMF agreements between Washington and Tel Aviv, would be applied to the 2018-27 aid package. At a press conference during his visit to Israel in March, President Barack Obama said he had agreed to begin discussions with Israel over extending military aid to Tel Aviv. “Our current agreement lasts through 2017, and we’ve directed our teams to start working on extending it for the years beyond,” Obama said.