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Trump cuts will leave military aid to Israel untouched

March 13, 2019 at 11:16 am

US President Donald Trump (L), Jared Kushner (C), US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Flickr]

Trump administration spending cuts will not impact military aid to Israel, reported Globes.

The 2020 budget proposal that the White House has sent to Congress includes the full $3.3 billion aid in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by President Barack Obama.

Obama signed the MOU in his last year of office.

In the Trump administration’s budget document, the relevant clause in the section “Department of State and Other International Programmes” states: “The Budget fully supports the US-Israel Memorandum of Understanding and includes $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing grant assistance to bolster Israel’s capacity to defend itself against threats in the region and maintain its qualitative military edge.”

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As reported by Globes, “the aid package to Israel includes aid for Israel’s rocket and missile defence programme.”

“In previous years, this aid was granted separately, subject to approval by Congress. Congress tended to raise the originally proposed amount substantially following intense lobbying by the Israeli government and Israeli defence companies,” Globes added.

The current memorandum also “stresses that aid for the rocket and missiles program will be part of general military aid to Israel and that Israel may not ask Congress to increase it.”