The U.S. State Department has announced that an MOU signed in 2016 between the United States and Israel to provide $38 billion in defense financing to Israel has become officially operational.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement announcing the implementation of the MOU, saying that “under the terms of the MOU, the United States will set funding for Israel at levels of $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing and $500 million for cooperative programs for missile defense over each of the next 10 years, a significant increase enabling Israel to acquire additional advanced military capabilities from the United States that will, over time, enhance Israel’s security and strengthen our bilateral relationship.”
The statement reiterates the United States’ longstanding bipartisan commitment to the safety and security of Israel.
“Our implementation of this historic MOU reflects the enduring and unshakable commitment of the President, this Administration, and the American people to Israel’s security,” Nauert stated, noting that “the MOU was negotiated under the previous Administration, reflecting the bipartisan nature of this commitment.”
“The United States unconditionally affirms Israel’s right to self-defense, and this MOU is a concrete demonstration of our commitment to Israel’s capacity to defend itself with a qualitative military edge over all potential regional adversaries,” she added.
While Israel receives among the largest annual aid packages from the United States, Israel provides the United States with significant value — both in terms of intelligence it provides, as well as operational feedback on equipment that can be later deployed by the United States or sold to other countries.
“Israel is a valuable and capable ally to the United States that today faces dangerously escalating regional threats, first and foremost from the Iranian regime’s sponsorship of terrorist groups seeking to attack not only Israel, but also American interests,” stated Nauert. “Israel is also threatened by the reckless proliferation of destabilizing weapons systems into the region that increase the possibility of an escalated conflict in an already dangerous and volatile theater.”
In response to the MOU becoming operational, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the American administration and Congress for their commitment to Israel.
“Israel and the world face complex security challenges, especially Iranian aggression. The unreserved US support for Israel’s right to defend itself is among the pillars of the strong bond between the two countries,” he said.