U.S. reapproves loan guarantees with Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States has reapproved its loan guarantee program with Israel.

Israel still has $3.8 billion of guarantees left in the $9 billion total package, which it must use by 2011. Israel already has issued $4.1 billion in bonds backed by the guarantees, and $1.1 billion has been deducted for Israeli settlement building and objections to the route of the West Bank security fence, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported Tuesday.

The U.S. first approved the guarantees, which allow Israel to sell bonds internationally with the backing of the United States, during the 2002 recession.

As part of the deal, Israel must also hit certain economic targets regarding the size of budget deficits and levels of government spending.

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