The Israeli government has made an initial request for its annual U.S. defense package to increase by as much as $5 billion when its current aid package, worth an average $3 billion a year, expires in 2017, U.S. congressional sources said, this last Wednesday.PNN reports that, according to Reuters, Israel wants $5 billion per year in military aid for 10 years, for a total of $50 billion. The US congress spokesman stated that Israel has been signalling that it wants more money to â€ścounter threats it says will arise as a result of the international agreement on Iranâ€™s nuclear program, which Israelâ€™s government has staunchly opposedâ€ť.
Among its request, the Israeli government is asking for: squadrons of F-15 stealth fighter jets beyond the F-35 squadrons the Americans have already promised, V-22 Osprey aircraft-helicopter, helicopters, refueling aircraft, precision weapons and a large amount of Arrow 3 missiles designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere as an additional layer of protection to the Arrow 2, according to the Israeli media outlet Ynet.
â€śIsrael argues that Tehranâ€™s financial windfall from sanctions relief will allow it to increase backing for proxies that are hostile to Israel in Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and elsewhere â€“ a fear Washington says is exaggeratedâ€ť, as stated by Reuters.
However, the new aid deal has not been finished yet. Congressional and other U.S. officials said that they are in the very beginning of analyzing the proposal. â€śFirst they have to negotiate with the White House,â€ť one senior congressional aide said of Israel. The Israeli prime minister is going to the United States for a visit, this next week, where the aid topic is likely to be on the top of the discussion matters.