US Congress delegation in Israel to study $2.1b aid package
US Congress delegation in Israel to study $2.1b aid package
Globes - August 11, 2005


Yesterday’s tour of the Negev by 14 Democrats will be followed by a Republican group in two weeks.

Vice Premier Shimon Peres yesterday hosted a US Congressional delegation tour of the Negev. The tour was part of Congress’s deliberations for a $2.1 billion US aid package for Israel, one-third of which will be allocated for defense purposes and two-thirds for development of the Negev and Galilee.

The Prime Minister’s Office, Vice Premier’s Office and the Ministry of Finance submitted an aid request to the US, which Congress will discuss immediately after returning from its summer recess.

Projects included in the aid request include moving Military Intelligence and computer bases to the Negev, completion of the southern and northern sections of Road No. 6 (the Yitzhak Rabin Highway, also known as the Cross-Israel Highway), extending Israel Railways lines to outlying areas, assistance for the Bedouin, and encouraging the private sector.

Yesterday’s tour by 14 Democratic party representatives will be followed by a Republican party group in two weeks. Yesterday’s tour began at IDF bases along the Kisufim route in the Gaza Strip, before continuing to sites in the Negev, including the Eyalim project.

The delegation included Rep. Shelley Berkley (DNev.), Rep. Jim Costa (DCalif.), Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (DMd.), Rep. Steve Israel (DNY), Rep. Jim Langevin (DRI), Rep. Robert Menendez (DNJ), Rep. Michael H. Michaud (DMaine), Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (DMd.), Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (DPa.), Rep. Henry A. Waxman (DCalif.), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (DCalif.).