Obama approves Israel aid budget, signs Hezbollah sanctions bill

$3.1 billion in aid to be given to Israel, Obama to renew memorandum for 2017; US President additionally signs Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015

Obama and Netanyahu 2014 (AFP)

Obama and Netanyahu 2014 (AFP)

President Obama approved a budget of $3.1 billion in aid for Israel over the weekend. The decade aid package falls under the 2007 memorandum by former United States President George W. Bush, Obama reportedly working to renew the memorandum for 2007.

The budget allots $200 million to fill weapons arsenals for United States in Israel, with $487 million designated for defense systems against missile attacks- the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow 2 & 3.

The approved budget comes following Israel’s request to increase its aid package from the United States in 2017 from $3 billion to $5 billion.

President Obama additionally signed the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 which will increase sanctions against Hezbollah, including harsher sanctions on banks knowingly cooperated with the terrorist organization.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated on the Prevention Act “We continue to work with Congress in a bipartisan way to ensure that we maximize the tools available to us to thwart Hezbollah’s network at every turn, and we look forward to working together as we implement these new authorities. The United States’ government has made significant progress and will continue to further disrupt Hezbollah’s terrorist capabilities by targeting the group’s financial support infrastructure.”