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>> After nearly a year of intense negotiations Israel and the United States have finally struck a deal on a new ten year defense program. I'm Luke Baker, Reuters' Bureau Chief, in Jerusalem. Under the agreement, Israel will receive around $38 billion of U.S. military and defense assistance over the next ten years.
In lots of respects, that's a vast improvement on the previous ten year deal, which is worth around $31 billion. But it's a lot short of what Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, was originally seeking, closer to $45 billion. There are also another couple of areas in which Israel has had to compromise.
First of all, it would normally spend around 25% of all the money on its own defense industries. Instead, it's gonna phase that out and ultimately spend all of the money on buying U.S. military equipment over the course of the program. Netanyahu is keen, and the United States was keen too, to strike this deal before the Obama administration ends it's term, and a new U.S. president takes office in January.
And from Israel's point of view, given that this is the largest military assistance program ever. It retains what it calls its quantitative and qualitative edge when it comes to security and defense in the region.