Israel is seeking $2.2 billion from the United States, in one of the largest aid requests by the Jewish state, to help pay for its planned withdrawal from the occupied Gaza Strip, Israeli political sources said Monday. In a meeting with senior U.S. officials in Washington, an Israeli delegation gave the White House an assessment of Israel’s “needs and requirements” for relocating military bases from Gaza, and for developing the Galilee and Negev regions, where many settlers are likely to be moved, Israeli sources said after the talks. “U.S. officials will now study the presentation and see what additional questions we may have,” a spokesman for the White House National Security Council said. “A number of programs and needs were described and we will, as the president has said, be working with the government of Israel to understand the proposal and see how we can assist in making the plans a reality,” the NSC spokesman added. Both Israeli and U.S. officials described the proposal as initial or preliminary. Israel is among the largest recipients of U.S. aid, and the $2.2 billion would be in addition to annual aid of around $2.8 billion. Much of the annual funding comes in the form of grants that are spent on U.S. military exports. (MORE)


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