U.S. military aid to Israel to rise by $200M a year

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Muslim News" <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 10:17:49 +0100

U.S. military aid to Israel is likely to grow by some $200 million a year 
beyond the $2.4 billion ceiling it is slated to hit in 2007, former ambassador 
to Washington David Ivry said yesterday. 

Ivry completed his Washington posting last week. 

According to an agreement with Washington, U.S. civilian aid to Israel is being 
gradually phased out over a 10-year period, while military aid is being 
increased by half the amount of the civilian aid cut each year. When the 
process ends in 2007, annual military aid will be $2.4 billion. 

But in practice, said Ivry, two joint ventures between the Pentagon and 
Israel's Defense Ministry will result in higher aid levels. One of these 
ventures is the joint production of the Arrow anti-missile missile, which the 
United States is funding. The second is a project to develop an anti-aircraft 
laser gun. 

The United States has so far invested $33 million in the Arrow production line, 
which was set up at a Boeing plant. The line is slated to become operational in 
2004, and Israel has asked for a grant of $600 million over five years ($120 
million a year) to finance actual production. 

The laser gun project (originally called the Nautilus) is expected to cost $250 
million over three years. Due to budgetary constraints, the Pentagon will start 
funding the project in 2005, but Israel expects that once it begins, it will 
cover 75 percent of the costs. Until then, the United States has allocated 
smaller sums ($13 million in 2002, for instance), primarily to keep the 
scientists involved on payroll. 

Thus by mid-decade, Ivry noted, the Americans are slated to be giving Israel an 
extra $200 million a year in military aid. 
Source: Ha'aretz 

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