Israel will ask the U.S. government to significantly increase its military assistance to the country as part of a new multi-year aid agreement.

A high-level Israeli economic delegation led by Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer and Finance Ministry Director General Yarom Ariav will meet with an American team in Washington this week.

The present package, which ends this year, covers $2.4 billion in annual military aid.

Israel’s request comes due to the military challenges and restraints it will have to face in the upcoming years and the weakening dollar.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, delegation members and others met at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday to discuss the requests Israel would present.

The level of aid to be requested was to be set at the meeting, but Washington asked Israel last week not to ask for a specific amount at this stage, but rather present its needs in principle.

The actual numbers will be raised in negotiations in the upcoming months.

Israel is requesting only military aid, since it knows that a request for civilian assistance would not be met favorably in Washington.


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