WASHINGTON (Jan. 8)
The United States will give Israel an additional $28 million this year to fight terrorism.
A State Department spokesman said the funds were found in the Defense Department’s budget, earmarked for foreign counter-terrorism efforts. The money will be used for robotics and X-ray machines to scan trucks and cargo containers.
Israel must purchase the items from U.S. manufacturers, the State Department spokesman said.
Israel’s public security minister, Uzi Landau, told American officials in July that more funds were needed to replenish the supply of robots that dismantle bombs in Israel. The robots often are damaged while dissecting bombs and cannot be reused.
Israel already has spent the $100 million in counterterrorism aid it receives from the United States each year under the 1998 Wye Agreement. The new money is part of the supplemental funds designated for counterterrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
This money is separate from the annual foreign operations appropriations package that passed Congress last month. That earmarked $2.7 billion in economic and military aid for Israel.
It also is separate from the $800 million supplemental aid package Israel still is requesting from the United States. That money, originally requested by President Clinton and Israel from the last Congress, was to help Israel with the military costs associated with its withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000.
The post-Lebanon aid, which was to be divided into a payment of $450 million the first year and $350 million at a later date, also was intended to help Israel counter long-range missile threats from Iran and Iraq.