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House Votes $2.18 Billion in Military, Economic Aid to Israel

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The House of Representatives voted 221-147 Thursday night and sent to the Senate foreign aid legislation authorizing $2.18 billion in military and economic aid to Israel. It also authorized $1.3 billion for Egypt and $16 million for development and training programs for the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Egypt also received from other U.S. sources about $300 million. under, the Food for Peace Program.

While cutting the overall authorization level by ten percent to $5.2 billion for the fiscal year starting next October 1, the House excluded from this reduction its assistance for Israel, Egypt, UNICEF, peace-keeping operations, American schools and hospitals abroad and refugee aid. More funds for Syria were barred. The U.S. has $250 million in the pipeline for Syria from previous allocations.

Israel was voted $1.4 billion in military aid of which $900 million are in loans. This is $400 million more than the original allocation. The Carter Administration added $200 million and the House, under the guidance of Reps. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcom committee on the Middle East, and Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D-NY), the Democratic Deputy Whip, added another $200 million. The $785 million in economic aid to Israel is a grant. Of Egypt’s $750 million in economic aid, $500 million is a grant.

FUTURE AID TO SYRIA BANNED

While the Administration pared down its request for Syria to $3.5 million from $90 million a year ago, the House voted 320-71 to reject the request and to ban further aid to Syria. Rep. Edward Derwinski (R-III.), leading the floor fight against the funding, said the Administration “has told us that Syria was cooperative behind the scenes.” But, he said, Syria, Libya and Algeria “are in the forefront of the opposition to the Camp David accords” and the Soviets “have been giving Syria a billion dollars worth of arms a year. “He added that Syria should be “chastised for its treatment of Syrian Jews” and belated “Syria’s long-term record in Lebanon.”

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