The U.S. Senate passed on Aug. 1 bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to authorize at least $3.3 billion in annual security assistance to Israel.
“The passage of this bipartisan legislation represents the continuation of America’s unshakable, seven-decade commitment to Israel’s security,” said Coons. “The security assistance included in this bill will help Israel protect itself in the midst of regional instability; deter — and if necessary defend against — Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas; and deepen bilateral ties for the next decade and beyond.”
The U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act:
— Authorizes the State Department to extend no less than $3.3 billion annually in foreign military financing to Israel over the next 10 years through 2028. This is consistent with the new U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2016.
— Extends loan guarantees to Israel, making the U.S. Federal Reserve a guarantor of Israeli loans and allowing Israel to secure international loans at substantially lower interest rates.
— Allows for the quick sale of Precision Guided Munitions to Israel in the event of a conflict with Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran.
— Reiterates it is U.S. policy to ensure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge to allow Israel to counter and defeat any conventional or emerging military threat from neighboring states, a coalition of regional states or a terrorist group.
— Encourages enhanced U.S.-Israel cooperation in space, on international development issues, and on production of counter-drone technology.
The legislation’s counterpart in the U.S. House of Representatives passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 9.