US to Give Israel $30 Billion

From BBC News:

US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns has signed a deal that will provide Israel with $30bn (£14.8bn) of military aid over the next 10 years.

The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has said the aid will preserve his country’s military advantage over other countries in the Middle East.

The new military aid package represents a 25% increase from present levels.

The US announced multi-billion-dollar arms deals with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other Gulf states last month.

Washington says it wants to help its allies in the Middle East meet their security needs and counter the growing power of Iran in the region.

Mr Burns and Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Aharon Abramovitz signed the memorandum of understanding on the new aid package at a ceremony in Jerusalem.

Needless to say, given Israel’s predicament, living in a region that is very violent and unstable, its military edge is of interest to our country, and we’ve committed to that

It will see Washington transfer $30bn over the next decade, compared to $24bn over the past 10 years. The first payment of $2.55bn will be made in October 2008.

Mr Burns called the aid package an “investment in peace”, saying “peace cannot be made without strength”.