Netanyahu: Israel, U.S. to Finalize Military Aid Package in Coming Months

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Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Jan. 21, 2016.
Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Jan. 21, 2016.Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that he believes Israel and the United States will finalize the security memorandum of understanding, which will dictate U.S. military aid to Israel for the next 10 years, in the coming months.

Speaking to journalist Fareed Zakaria on stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Netanyahu praised the military aid the Obama administration has provided Israel, adding that U.S. defense aid to Israel is even more important following the Iran nuclear deal, under which Iran will receive $100 billion that can be used to buy weapons and fund terrorism in the region.

Netanyahu met U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday morning and discussed the impending aid package from the U.S. As reported by Haaretz, an American delegation, led by National Security Council Senior Director for the Levant, Israel and Egypt Yael Lempert is due to arrive in Israel next week for the third round of talks regarding the aid deal. Jacob Nagel, a national security adviser in the prime minister's office, will lead the talks on the Israeli side. 

The military aid provided by the U.S. since 1962 until present day, stands at a few billion dollars yearly. This aid amounted to $3.1 billion in the last year. The impending agreement would allow for Israel to receive weapons systems and additional security equipment, such as fuel. Among the other equipment, it has been decided that Israel will be allowed to purchase F-35 jets using the aid package funds. The first of these jets are due to be welcomed into the Israel Air Force by the end of 2016.