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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

US to Israel: No financial aid for war

Yesterday, I blogged a HaAretz article that drew a lot of comments (for this blog) that argued that Israel was going to ask for a lot of money to pay for the recently concluded war, that a lot of Americans in high positions are not pleased with the war's results and that the US was not likely to pay for them.

At least part of that article is correct, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post today. The US has refused to give Israel money to pay for the war, although according to a report in Globes, it has agreed to extend the expiration of the loan guarantee program from 2008 to 2011, which should help Israel finance the war's costs on its own.

According to sources in Jerusalem, the government was considering requesting US aid - one report estimated a request of $2 billion - to help pay the cost of the war. There was talk in Washington of a large-scale financial package to help rebuild southern Lebanon, and in the process keep the Iranians out of the process. Israel was apparently hoping to fold its aid request into this package.

However, according to the sources, Washington has made it clear to Jerusalem that such aid for Israel is unlikely, even as US President George Bush on Monday announced a $230 million aid package for southern Lebanon.

"Things could change," the source said, "but right now this type of request would be like spitting into the wind."

Read the whole thing.


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