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Israel becomes 'largest cumulative recipient' of US foreign military aid

April 5, 2024 at 2:55 pm

An Israel Defence Force Merkava Mark IV main battle tank exercise with infantry forces [Getty]

Israel is the “largest cumulative recipient” of US foreign aid, as the country has received $297 billion between 1946 and 2023, most of which is in military aid, according to data from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) reported by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Anadolu Agency reports.

The report revealed that Israel became the largest non-NATO member ally of the US, and the country “has privileged access to the most advanced US military platforms and technologies,” according to the New York-based think tank.

It was highlighted in the report that the US military aid to Tel Aviv garnered a lot of criticism after the events of 7 October, 2023, and upon Israel’s attacks on Gaza resulting in tens of thousands killed, criticism towards the aid sent to the country became a hot topic worldwide.

“Israel has been the largest cumulative recipient of US foreign aid since its founding, receiving about $300 billion (adjusted for inflation) in total economic and military assistance,” said the report.

READ: US gives go ahead for arms sale to Israel after getting international law ‘assurance’

Israel was granted $216 billion in military aid and $81 billion in economic aid from the US between 1946 and 2023, which totals $297 billion.

After Israel, came Egypt in the list of countries receiving US foreign aid, though lagging far behind Israel, with only $89 billion in military and $78 billion in economic aid.

The report also pointed out that the US provided significant economic aid to Israel between 1971 and 2007.

“But nearly all US aid today goes to support Israel’s military, the most advanced in the region,” added the report.

The US has come under intense criticism for the use of its military aid and arms sales as the country has given support to Israel’s attacks on Gaza, resulting in the massacre of civilians.

Washington argues that Israel has given written assurances that the arms it receives from the US are used in accordance with international law.

More than 100 arms, ammunition sales to Israel after 7 October 

US President Joe Biden’s administration exerted its “emergency authority” to make public only two of the more than 100 arms and ammunition sales to Israel since 7 October, 2023, according to an article published in The Washington Post.

The other arm and ammunition sales were made only by informing Congress on the grounds that they were below the number that requires public disclosure, the article added.

The sales and shipments during this period included tank ammunition, 155-millimeter artillery shells, “free-fall” (unguided) aircraft bombs, precision-guided munitions and rockets to penetrate underground bunkers, among many others.

According to experts, the bombs frequently used by Israel in Gaza, known for their 900-kilogram weight and destructiveness, are MK84 bombs that can be equipped with JDAM kits produced by Boeing, which are supplied to Tel Aviv by the US.

It is also reported that after 7 October, the US diverted many munitions from its arsenal in Europe to the arsenal it has been making in Israel since the 1990s.

About 35,000 tons of weapons and ammunition have been transported to Israel by more than 300 aircraft and about 50 ships from various countries, mostly from the United States, since 7 October, according to Israeli media reports.

It was reported that the US administration approved the sale of 25 units of F-35s and aircraft engines to Israel, as well as the delivery of 1800 units of MK84 unguided bombs and 500 units of MK82 unguided bombs in another sale approved by the White House. , though it has not been made public.

The sale was announced to have a total value of around $18 billion, and it was not made public because the Congressional approval was two years old.

READ: US officials: ‘White House does not intend to restrict arms sales to Israel’