US gives record $38 billion in military aid to Israel after cutting humanitarian aid to Palestinians|
The United States will be giving Israel $38 billion in military aid after a new agreement was reached between the two governments on Tuesday.
Under the new agreement, Israel will be receiving $38 billion in military equipment from the United States, amounting to $3.8 billion per year over a ten-yer period from 2019 to 2029, according to Haaretz. The current US/Israel military aid package, which is due to expire in 2018, originally allotted roughly $3.1 billion per year in subsidies to Israel’s military. Congress recently voted to increase that aid by $500 million annually. $5 billion of the new $38 billion deal is expected to be spent on missile defense systems.
The original figure requested by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was $45 billion, to be doled out in $4.5 billion increments over a decade. Negotiations over the new military aid package took place over the course of a year.
Israel’s new $38 billion military subsidy form the United States government is a stark contrast to how President Barack Obama’s administration has viewed Palestinians. In October 2015, Obama cut Palestinian aid by $80 million in order to “send a message” to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. When compared to the new $700 million to $800 million increase in annual subsidies to the Israel military, this means the United States’ increased commitment to funding Israeli military operations is ten times more than last year’s cuts to economic aid for Palestinians.
Human rights advocate Elizabeth Tsurkov tweeted that the latest military aid package amounts to US taxpayers subsidizing violations of human rights:
US taxpayers are subsidizing an army responsible for depriving millions of basic human rights https://t.co/kxjwY5MzbF
— Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) September 13, 2016
The announcement of the aid package comes on the heels of increasing tensions between Jewish settlers and Palestinian families in occupied West Bank territory. Over the weekend, a 6-year-old Palestinian girl was killed by an Israeli driver in a hit-and-run incident. According to Middle East Monitor, Lama Marwan Musa was killed near al-Khader village, outside of Bethlehem City. The driver turned himself in and told authorities he did not intentionally run the girl over with his car.
Since last year’s outbreak of Israeli/Palestinian violence, Palestinian authorities claim 235 Palestinians have been killed. Israel reports 40 of their own have been killed since late 2015.
Zach Cartwright is an activist and author from Richmond, Virginia. He enjoys writing about politics, government, and the media. Send him an email at [email protected] and follow his work on the Public Banking Institute blog.