US - Israel ink largest defence deal in US history
WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (APP/AFP): The United States has agreed a record multi-billion-dollar deal to provide its ally Israel with military aid for 10 years from 2019, the State Department said Tuesday.
The memorandum of understanding will be signed Wednesday, it said, and "constitutes the single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance in US history."
Officials did not give the sum involved, but US military aid to Israel currently stands at $3.1 billion per year so this ten-year deal represents well over $30 billion.
It comes despite mounting frustration within President Barack Obama's administration at Israel's policy of building settler homes on occupied Palestinian territory.
Washington has warned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policies -- along with Palestinian violence -- are putting at risk hopes of an eventual peace deal.
But Israel remains the United States' number one ally in the region and the biggest single recipient of US military aid, while also a big customer for US arms exports.