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U.S. Aid Package for Israel May Include F-35s, V-22s: Report

The U.S. and Israel are negotiating a potentially massive aid deal that would boost funding for the Israeli military, as well as its planned weapons programs such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the V-22 Osprey, according to news reports.

As my colleague Bryant Jordan reported:

"U.S. security assistance to Israel may jump from just over $3 billion a year to possibly $5 billion under an agreement that may be nailed down this week during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington.

President Barack Obama on Monday morning met with Netanyahu at the White House, where the two discussed renewing the financial aid memorandum of understanding.

The original 10-year agreement guaranteeing Israel $3.1 billion annually expires in 2017 and Israel has reportedly asked that it be extended and increased to as much as $5 billion.

“Israel has shouldered a tremendous defense burden over the years, and we’ve done it with the generous assistance of the United States of America,” Netanyahu said in prepared remarks.”

Meanwhile, Jonathan Ferziger and Nicole Gaouette, reporters at Bloomberg News, reported the money may go toward more stealth F-35 fifth-generation fighters made by Lockheed Martin Corp. and V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft made by Textron Inc.‘s Bell helicopter unit and Boeing Co.:
“Netanyahu’s shopping list will probably include more of the F-35 stealth fighter planes Israel is already buying, said Yiftah Shapir, a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. Increased aid may also pay for the MV-22 Osprey battle transport aircraft capable of vertical landing and take-off that Ya’alon decided not to buy last year for lack of funds, he said.”
Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II, according to a report from June from the Congressional Research Service and released by the Federation of American Scientists, a watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. “To date, the United States has provided Israel $124.3 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance,” the report states.

To get a sense of how that compares to other countries, check out this infographic that has been making the rounds on social media:

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