U.S. Senators Call for Increased Defense Aid to Israel

April 26, 2016

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Eighty-three out of 100 U.S. senators have signed a letter asking President Barack Obama to approve a larger defense aid package for Israel.

The letter—led by Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)—stated that “in light of Israel’s dramatically rising defense challenges, we stand ready to support a substantially enhanced new long-term agreement to help provide Israel the resources it requires to defend itself and preserve its qualitative military edge,” Reuters reported.

Israel currently receives $3.1 billion a year in defense aid from the U.S. While the letter did not suggest a specific figure for a new deal, Israel has asked the U.S. for between $4 and $4.5 billion annually as part of a new defense package. Obama administration officials, meanwhile, have proposed a lower target of $3.7 billion.

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was among the letter’s signatories, while fellow 2016 contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), a known critic of Israel, was not.

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