- Agreement is the single largest package in U.S. history
- Accord would replace current pact set to expire in 2018
The U.S. and Israel have concluded a new 10-year security agreement that amounts to the single largest pledge of military assistance to another country in U.S. history.
Jacob Nagel, the acting head of Israel’s National Security Council, came to Washington Tuesday to make final arrangements on the defense aid package valued at $38 billion, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. The State Department announced that a formal signing ceremony will take place Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST.
The agreement will replace a long-standing pact, which expires in 2018 and which allocated about $3 billion in defense aid to Israel annually. Israel has agreed not to approach Congress for extra aid unless extraordinary events, such as a war, take place, the people said. The deal also calls for an eventual end to Israel’s expenditure of some of the aid on its own military industries, requiring instead that all the money be spent in the U.S., the people said.
Talks on a new memorandum of understanding between the countries began in earnest following U.S. support for the nuclear deal with Iran last year, which Israel opposed. In a letter last July, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said the new agreement with Israel would allow it to “update the lion’s share of its fighter aircraft fleet, significantly enhance its ground mobility capability and continue to increase its missile defense capabilities.”
The signing will come just as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to head to New York for the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly. A spokesman for Netanyahu didn’t respond to a phone call and text message seeking comment.