US Seeks to Increase Aid to Israel by $200M in 2019, Advance Jerusalem Embassy Preparations

President Barack Obama sits with then President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office, Nov. 10, 2016. (JANUS-Tête-à-Tête- Sitting President & President-elect, Barack Obama & Donald Trump squatting next to each other on arm-chairs in the Oval Office on November 10th 2016. (31196987133).jpg by Pete Souza licensed under public domain

The annual funding Israel receives from the United States may be increased by $200 million in 2019, according to President Donald Trump’s fiscal year budget request.  Israel is expected to receive $3.3 billion in 2019.

The requested funds are the result of a $38 billion 10-year memorandum of understanding signed between Israel and the United States at the end of President Barack Obama’s term in office.  The additional proposed funds are being apportioned to provide “assistance to bolster Israel’s capacity to defend itself and maintain its qualitative military edge.”

Part of the funds will go toward “prioritizing funding for a U.S. Embassy facility in Jerusalem which will begin once design and construction plans are finalized,” according to a fact sheet released by the State Department.  The administration has announced that the embassy will officially move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2019, while a new facility in the capital will take years to complete.

Israel’s eastern neighbor, Jordan is also scheduled to receive an increase of $275 million, to $1.275 billion in 2019.

The budget request requires congressional approval before being finalized.


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