Kicking off the Juniper Cobra joint US-Israeli military drill in Haifa, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says a new 10-year military aid package from Washington should be finalized “in the coming weeks.”
“Israel has held talks over the last months on keeping its high-quality security in the Middle East with the goal of finalizing a budget for the next decade,” he says alongside US ambassador Dan Shapiro, after touring the USS Carney.
The US and Israel have been in renegotiating the military aid package, which currently stands at $3 billion annually. Israel wants to up the amount by several hundred million at least according to reports, and officials have threatened to hold out until President Barack Obama leaves office in the hopes of securing a better deal.
Ya’alon, who last week criticized the West’s approach to Syria, also expresses doubt that a US-Russian ceasefire in the works for the country can hold, and says Israel won’t intervene except to preserve its interests, “something the US and Russia understand.”