By Ariel Kahana, Erez Linn, Israel Hayom—
A bipartisan bill that would cement the U.S. military aid to Israel into law has passed a major hurdle on Wednesday night.
The U.S. House of Representative approved the measure, known as the Ileana Ros-Lehtinen U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018, several weeks after it passed the Senate. It will now head toward the president’s desk.
Under the proposed legislation, the $38 billion in military aid over 10 years spelled out under the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding, would be funded through a special mechanism that would be separate from the annual budget.
The bill would also give Israel increased access to sophisticated U.S. technology to ensure it maintains its qualitative edge in the region through the U.S. war reserve stockpile in Israel, which Israeli forces can use under certain conditions.
It also authorizes the president to bolster the stockpile with $1 billion worth of weaponry, as well as with precision-guided munitions to use against Hezbollah. The bill further allows the president to establish a collaborative U.S.-Israel counterdrone program.
The law ensures that U.S. aid would not be cut so long as the memorandum comes into effect starting in 2019, ensuring that the funds would not be influenced by the budget wars Congress and the White House have. It also means that presidents would not be able to suspend U.S. aid as a means of pressuring Israel. Continue Reading…