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Israel to Buy $600 Million Worth of Air Force Equipment from the U.S.

The United States Defense Department said on July 24, 2005, that it may sell Israel jet engines and other air force equipment. The deal would mean Israel would receive top-of-the-line jet engines and spare parts, as well as some personnel training from the U.S. Air Force over the next 10 years. The $600 million total in parts and services will probably come from the $2.2 billion the U.S pledged in grants to Israel in 2005, most of which will be spent in the United States.

The announcement came as Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was scheduled to come to America to visit the Pentagon before the disengagement plan was to be implemented, but increased Kassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip delayed his trip indefinitely. The U.S. went ahead with the formal announcement to ensure that Israel could “maintain its qualitative edge” militarily.

The sale of jet engines to Israel would “contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the U.S. by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to be, an important force for economic progress in the Middle East.” The engines, meant for Israel's force of F-15 and F-16 fighters, will dramatically improve the flying capabilities and maintenance of the IAF fleet.

The Jerusalem Post