US proposes $2.16 million military assistance package for Israel
The US government offered Israel $2.16 billion last week in military assistance for fiscal year 2004. Senior US and Israeli officials drew up the aid package last week, which is still subject to congressional approval. American military aid to Israel for fiscal year 2003 is set at $2.1 billion.
Washington also agreed to review Israeli requests for purchasing advanced military equipment and technology on the same basis as sales to members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Making his second trip to the US this month, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Bureau Chief Dov Weisglass flew to Washington Saturday night with a $10 billion loan guarantee proposal for the Bush administration. Sharon proposed the facility last month alluding to Israel’s poor economic situation due to ongoing violence and an increase in expenses should there be a US military campaign against Iraq.
The request for the guarantees on foreign bank loans would be additional to the $2.9 billion Israel receives in American direct loans and grants annually. Israel is the US’largest aid recipient, relying on loan guarantees to borrow at lower interest rates. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)