Agreement to Grant Israel $10 Billion by US to be Signed this Week

Monday, April 28 2003 @ 12:15 AM GMT

JERUSALEM - An agreement to grant Israel $10 billion in loan guarantees from the US is expected to be signed this week, following a series of visits to Washington earlier this year by Israeli delegations, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on Sunday.

The Israeli delegation headed by finance ministry director-general Ohad Marani was presented with the US conditions for transferring the loan guarantees, Israeli sources said on Sunday.

The Israeli delegates failed to reach an agreement with their American counterparts on a $12 billion aid package from Washington; in addition to the $3 billion military aid it receives annually from its chief ally.

However, Ha’aretz relayed that the US Congress had approved $9 billion in loan guarantees and $1 billion in security aid to Israel a few weeks ago despite its ally’s use of American weapons in its aggressive war against the Palestinian people.

Israel has used such advanced weapons in aggressive military actions against Palestinian civilian population areas, in violation to a US-set condition that these weapons be used only in protecting the country’s security.

>From F-16s fighters to Apache attack helicopters, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have constantly used such American-manufactured weapons in its war against Palestinian civilians.

Many innocent civilians and passersby have been killed over the past two years by these powerful weapons.

Nevertheless, the guarantees agreed upon are to be given in three installments over a three-year period, at a rate of interest linked to the US government bonds on the day of issue.

The US President will have the right not to approve any new Israeli issue of guarantee funds if Israel fails to keep its commitment to implement its economic austerity plan.

Israel is already the biggest recipient of US foreign aid, receiving nearly three billion dollars annually.

Since 1973, Israel has burdened its chief ally, the US, with over $1.6 trillion aid-worth, according to report published by a leading American consulting economist in Washington last year.

If divided by today’s population, that would cost every US citizen more than $5,700, said Thomas Stauffer, whose analysis of the Middle East scene has for decades sparked Israeli lobby anger.

Stauffer’s report shows that the total cost of the ongoing US-Israeli liaison has cost the American administration double what it cost it during the Vietnam War.

-[Palestine Media Center (http://www.palestine-pmc.com/).] Published at the (http://www.palestine-pmc.com/)