House of Representatives Approves FY2009 Aid to Israel

(March 10, 2009)

As part of a fiscal year 2009 omnibus spending package that passed on February 25, 2009, the House of Representatives approved $2.38 billion in security assistance for Israel. Combined with the $170 million included in a supplemental appropriations bill passed last year, the new spending package fully funds the first year of the ten-year $30 billion U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which the two countries signed in 2007. The new spending bill also includes $30 million in assistance to help Israel absorb refugees, $2 million for U.S.-Israel energy cooperation and $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt.

The spending bill also requires a report from the State Department on U.S. government efforts to enforce and expand bilateral and multilateral sanctions against Iran for its continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. The legislation also calls on the State Department to work closely with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to develop a strategy for identifying individuals known to have engaged in terrorist activity and for tighter congressional oversight on the use of military assistance to Lebanon.

Source: Near East Report