US to Give Biggest Military Aid to Israel

US to Give Biggest Military Aid to IsraelUS to Give Biggest Military Aid to Israel

The United States has agreed to a record multibillion-dollar deal to provide Israel with military assistance over a decade-the largest such agreement ever with any country.

Following 10 months of frequently tense negotiations, the US State Department said on Tuesday the two allies had reached a deal with a signing ceremony planned for Wednesday in Washington DC.

Israel has long been a major recipient of US aid, mostly in the form of military assistance, against a backdrop of an ebbing and flowing conflict with the Palestinians and Israel's neighbours, Al Jazeera reported.

The US and Israel have not disclosed the exact sum, but officials familiar with the deal told news agencies it totaled $3.8 billion a year-up from the $3.1 billion the US gave Israel annually under the previous 10-year deal that ends in 2018.

The agreement was described as the "single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance in US history", but it also reportedly involves major concessions by the Israeli government, which will no longer be able to seek additional annual funds from the US Congress over and above the new package.

Israel's government had no immediate comment on the deal.

The deal comes despite mounting frustration within US President Barack Obama's administration at Israel's policy of building settler homes on occupied Palestinian territory. It shows Washington's warning that Netanyahu's policies are scuttling hopes of an eventual peace deal is hollow.