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US approves another hundreds-million-dollar arms sale to Israel

A US Navy combat ship equipped with 5-inch guns (File photo)

The United States has approved a proposal to sell Israel more weapons, including naval guns and technical support worth an estimated $440 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement on Friday that the State Department agreed to allow the possible sale of 13 76mm naval guns to Tel Aviv.

The Pentagon agency said it had notified the Congress about the State Department’s decision

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability," said the agency.

It also said that the equipment "will improve Israel’s capability to meet current and future threats in the defense of its borders and territorial waters.”

Tel Aviv previously requested to purchase naval guns, in addition to a variety of naval maintenance materials and technical support and supplies.

An Israeli soldier on board an Israeli vessel takes part in a training session in the Mediterranean Sea on April 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

In September last year, the US signed a deal to provide Israel with $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade.

Under the deal, Israel will be allowed to upgrade most of its fighter aircraft, improve its ground forces' mobility and strengthen its missile systems.

Washington has also been providing Israeli with $3.1 billion annually since a 2007 agreement with the former president George W. Bush's administration.

Despite the US new administration’s deep budget cuts in foreign aid, Israel would likely remain to enjoy the military aid with President Donald Trump in power.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said last month that Washington’s aid to Israel, which totaled about $3.1 billion this year, would not be touched under the Trump plan. Israel gets more US aid than any other country in the world.

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