WASHINGTON (Apr. 24)
President Nixon has made “an initial determination” on the division of the $2.2 billion emergency aid fund for Israel and granted $1 billion of it to Israel as a gift, the White House announced today. The remaining amount in the fund will be used as credits to Israel at “concessional rates of interest” unless the President decides otherwise.
White House deputy press secretary Gerald Warren stressed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “initial determination” means President Nixon can review the circumstances of Israel’s requirements between now and June 30 and could grant more of the money to Israel rather than offer it as credits to the Israeli government.
June 30 is the last day of the U.S. fiscal year and disposition of the emergency fund. The amount was proposed by Congress last Oct. after the Yom Kippur War and adopted in Dec. by Congress which stipulated, however, that the President could provide up to $1.5 billion to Israel as gifts. Congress also directed that slightly less than $18 million of the fund will be used to meet the U.S. share of the cost of the United Nations Emergency Force in the Middle East for one year
The “concessional rate” of interest on any credits from the fund. Warren said, is three percent. The credits would have a long grace period for repayment but he said he did not know the number of years. The JTA had reported earlier this week that the U.S. Security Council had recommended to the President last week that he allow between $900 million and $1 billion to Israel as a gift.