U.S.-Israel aid deal near


Israel and the United States are expected to sign a deal on boosted defense aid this week.

Israeli officials said Sunday that U.S. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns, having postponed a visit to Jerusalem last week, was expected to come within days to clinch a deal for a 25 percent increase in U.S. military grants to Israel over the next decade.

The $30 billion package would come in parallel to stepped-up arms donations and sales by Washington to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) said Israel would still have the mightiest military in the region.

“One of the most important aspects of this $30 billion package, unprecendented in scope, is that it will guarantee the continuance of Israel’s qualitative military edge,” Lantos told reporters during a visit to Jerusalem.

He added that Israel needs the boosted aid because it still has “a sickening array of bloodthirsty enemies headed by Iran – I should say, by the current regime in Iran, not the Iranian people.”

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