WASHINGTON - The American Congress gave Israel
financial and security encouragement when the Senate and the House of Representatives gave their approval to double the emergency equipment the United States stores in Israeli stockpiles.
Within the next two years the Americans will fill the military emergency stockpiles in Israel with double the equipment they now hold.
In addition, the US will allow Israel to use the remainder of the US's monetary guarantees given to them that have not been used yet, and add up to USD 4.5 billion, by 2011.
The emergency stockpiles are meant to store American military equipment in the Middle East in case of an emergency. However, in case of an emergency, Israel is allowed to use the stockpiles.
The value of the equipment currently stored in Israel amounts to USD 100 million and the American government approved doubling its value to USD 200 million in the coming year.
In 2008 the military stock will be doubled and refilled once again in the value of USD 200 million.
The Congress decided to give special aid to Israel in order to minimize war damages, without having to give Israel additional direct financial aid.
The bill was approved by the Senate and House and it renewed authority to transfer equipment to be stored in Israel.
A great portion of the American equipment stored in Israel last year was used for combat in the summer war in Lebanon.
The US approved guarantees in the sum of USD 9 billion to Israeli to be used over a period of three years, and this period was then prolonged an additional year.
Israel has only used half of this amount and has requested the United States again extend the time limit on using these guarantees. Following the second Lebanon war the US agreed to extend this period until the year 2011.
These pro-Israel decisions were made due to the lobbying efforts of Senate heads Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Bill Frist, and through Head of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations John Biden and Richard Lugar.
The bill was lead by the House of Representatives' heads of the Democratic Committee on Foreign Relations Tom Lantos and the Republican Committee on Foreign Relations Ileana Ross-Lehtinen and the House's republican head Jo Bonner.