April 21, 2013
As fears about a nuclear Iran intensify, the United States agrees to provide Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with $10 billion in military aid. The deal is announced by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel en route to Israel as part of a five country Middle East tour. Although three countries are to receive military aid, the bulk of the package is directed towards Israel.
After meeting with Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on April 22, Hagel announces that “the Obama administration has made not just maintaining, but enhancing and improving Israel’s qualitative military edge a top priority.” Israel’s package includes V-22 Osprey aircraft, which take off vertically like helicopters and fly like airplanes; anti-air and anti-radiation defense missiles; and KC-135 refueling tanker planes. Hagel also stresses that Israel has the right to defend itself as a sovereign nation, and recognizes that may include striking against Iran’s nuclear program.
In addition to announcing the arms deal, Hagel also visits Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust, with his twenty year-old son on April 21.
To read more about Hagel’s Middle East trip in April 2013, including video of the arms announcement, visit: http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2013/0413_hagel1/
The photo shows Secretary Hagel, right, shaking hands with Udi Shani, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, upon his arrival in Tel Aviv, Israel on April 21, 2013. Photo Source: Department Of Defense, photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo