The U.S. and Israel are engaged in extensive strategic, political and military cooperation, that includes American supply of arms, intelligence sharing and joint military exercises. Close cooperation was also recorded in the sectors of cyber security and homeland security. 14% of Israeli arms export between 2014-2018 went to the U.S. It includes among others surveillance systems, drones, aircrafts, missiles, border security systems, cyber security service and the Iron Dome defense system.
Israel – USA Relations
The United States was the first country to recognize Israel as a state in 1948, and the first to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017.
The U.S.-Israel economic and commercial relationship is strong, anchored by bilateral trade of close to $50 billion in goods and services annually. U.S.-Israel bilateral economic relations are codified in a number of treaties and agreements, including the 1985 U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Since signing the FTA in 1985, U.S.-Israel bilateral goods and services trade has grown eight-fold, making the United States Israel’s largest trading partner. U.S. goods exports to Israel in 2019 were $14.7 billion, with $19.6 billion of imports in 2019. Exports to the USA from Israel include: pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery and equipment, medical equipment, rubber and plastic, telecom equipment, metal products, electronic and optical equipment and computer systems.Developments and Trends in Israeli Export
U.S. exports of services to Israel were an estimated $5.7 billion in 2019, with imports of $7.4 billion. The United States and Israel also coordinate scientific and cultural exchanges through the Binational Science Foundation (BSF), the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Foundation (BARD), Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) and the U.S.-Israeli Education Foundation. To facilitate economic cooperation, the two countries convene a Joint Economic Development Group each year to discuss our economic partnership and possible initiatives for the coming year.U.S. Relations With Israel BILATERAL RELATIONS FACT SHEET
The US and Israel are engaged in extensive strategic and military cooperation. It includes American aid, intelligence sharing and joint military exercises. Israel’s security is a long-standing cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. The United States’ commitment to Israel’s security is supported by robust defense cooperation and the 10-year, $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the United States and Israel in 2016. Consistent with the MOU, the United States annually provides $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing and $500 million for cooperative programs for missile defense.U.S. Relations With Israel BILATERAL RELATIONS FACT SHEET
In 2019, 2020 and 2021 the U.S. provided $3.8 billion in foreign military aid to Israel every year. U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel In total between 1946-2019 the U.S. provided $150 billion in military aid to Israel. Israel also benefits from $8 billion of loan guarantees.U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel
Since 1952 around 40 MoU’s and bilateral agreements were signed between the USA and Israel. The complete and detailed list is published by American-Israeli cooperative enterprise on this link.
64% of Israeli arms imports between 2014 and 2018 came from the U.S., according to SIPRI. 14% of Israeli arms export between 2014-2018 went to the U.S.Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
In 1996 the Counter-Terrorism Accord between the USA and Israel was signed.US-Israel Counter Terrorism Accord 4/30/96 The Agreement was about cooperation in information sharing, training, investigations, research and development and policymaking.
At federal, state and local levels there is close Israeli-American cooperation on homeland security. There are many areas of partnership, including preparedness and protection of travel and trade. Some examples:
- In 2004 Israeli designed Hermes 450 drones, made by Elbit Systems, began operation on the US-Mexican border to prevent migrants from crossing into the US.
- In 2005 U.S national guard leaders visited Israel to forge cooperation on Home Front Command.
- In 2010 the USA and Israel sigend an agreement to increase aviation security cooperation
- Israeli educational training, cyber security and arms are used in many American international airports.
- In 2014 the US department of homeland security secured Israeli firm Elbit Systems for a $145 million contract to upgrade and secure the US borders. The agreement includes the import of Israeli surveillance equipment.
Cyber-security, Science and Technology
In 2008 the US and Israel signed an agreement to increase their science and technology cooperation. The agreement includes sharing of information, personnel exchanges, enhancement of security of physical and online infrastructures and research in protection from nuclear, chemical and biological attacks.
In 2016 the Israel National Cyber Bureau (INCB) and the National Cyber Security Authority signed a cyber defense cooperation agreement with officials from the US department of Homeland Security. In 2017 the USA and Israel formed a bilateral working group to fight cyber-attacks. The cooperation includes American congressmen, FBI agents, members of the US defense and homeland security departments and members of the Israeli Shin Bet, the Israeli military, the department of foreign affairs and defense ministries.
The United States and Israel have cooperated on intelligence matters since the 1950s. Israel provided the US with information on weapons systems captured from different sources and with human intelligence. The U.S. provided Israel with satellite imagery. The NSA has acknowledged that it provides Israel with raw unfiltered information intercepts that include private details and messages of American citizens.Report: Israel receives intelligence from US containing private information on US citizens
Cellebrite – US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has signed a contract up to $30m-$35m with Cellebrite in 2020 for “universal forensic extraction devices” (UFED), as well as other services, including accessories, licenses, training and support services – more than ten times than the value of the $2.2 million previous contract signed between the two sides in 2017.ICE signs $30M contract with Israeli data-extraction company
1988 – joint development of the “Arrow” anti-ballistic missile program, that was funded by Israel and the US.
2003 – USA and Israel signed an agreement to cooperate in the development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The agreement includes a special bilateral security deal that permits Israel to give input on the design. An Israeli program office was opened in WashingtonArrow 2 Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence System, Israel. In 2013 the Pentagon decided to include a helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) developed by Elbit and Rockwell Collins in all F-35 jets.U.S.-Israel Strategic Cooperation: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Plane
2015 – the U.S.-Israel Anti-Tunnel Defense Cooperation Act – USA initiated a joint research and development program with Israel aimed at evaluating and addressing tunnel threats.US Congress c’ttee approves Israel tunnel detection aid
2011-2019 – joint design and development of Iron Dome missile defense system. Design and tracking radar built by Elta, battle management and weapon control system designed by mPrest Systems, the missing firing unit developed by Rafael. As of April 2018, the United States had provided $1.397 billion to Israel for Iron Dome batteries, interceptors, coproduction costs, and general maintenance. In January 2019, the U.S. Army was expected to request funding from Congress to procure two Iron Dome batteries. The $373 million deal would include 240 Tamir interceptor missiles, twelve launchers, and two radars and command trailers.The Iron Dome Missile Defense System
Joint military and police training and cooperation:
Police: since 2002 thousands of American law enforcement officials have trained in Israel with Israeli police, military, and the Shin Bet. And thousands more have participated in security conferences and workshops with Israeli military, law enforcement and security officials held in the U.S. For a full report on Israeli American police cooperation – click here.
Military: Israeli and American infantry, naval and air forces are training and cooperating on a regular base. Hundreds of delegations, joint military exercises and training courses have been held since the year 2000.U.S.-Israel Relations: Strategic & Military Cooperation
In 2017 the USA and Israel decided to build a new U.S. military base at the Israeli Air Defense School near Beersheba. The base will support a contingent of American soldiers who will operate missile and rocket defense systems.US breaks ground for new permanent base in Israel/
Usage of Israeli Arms
Israeli arms involvement in the Gulf war:
Israeli Arms used by American forces: Pioneer UAV, Have Nap Air-launced missiles (on American B52 Bombers), Mine plows, Mobile bridges, conformal fuel tanks for F15 aircraft (developed by IAI), Night vision goggles, Litening targeting pods.
Israeli arms involvement in the Kosovo war:
Israeli-designed drones were used in NATO’s operation in Kosovo and Serbia, gathering intelligence and data. Used: Hunter UAV (IAI), Pioneer UAV (IAI).
Israeli arms involvement in the Iraq war:
Israel contributed military intelligence on the region. Israeli arms were used by USA in the war: Popeye (AGM-142), Hunter UAV, Pioneer UAV, Litening Targeting Pods. US forces were trained bjy Israeli units in the US and in Israel.U.S.-Israel Strategic Cooperation: Israel Aids U.S. Campaign in Iraq
Israeli arms involvement in border protection at the U.S.-Mexico border:
- integrated fixed towers system (Elbit): In usage by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in U.S. Border Patrol Casa Grande Area of Responsibility in Arizona since 2014. In July 2019, 55 towers were deployed.THE U.S. BORDER PATROL AND AN ISRAELI MILITARY CONTRACTOR ARE PUTTING A NATIVE AMERICAN RESERVATION UNDER “PERSISTENT SURVEILLANCE” The first deal with Elbit was in 2014 ($145m)Elbit to build surveillance towers on Arizona’s border with Mexico, an additional contract in 2019 ($26m).Elbit Systems U.S. subsidiary wins additional $26M contract
- Hermes 450 drones have been used since 2004 on the U.S. Mexico border.Israeli Drones Used by Arizona Border Police
- Drone-interception-system was ordered by U.S. Border Patrol from ELTA/IA for usage on Mexican border. It will be delivered by the end of 2020. The Stormguard ELM-2135 will be part of the system.IAI delivers radards against drones for border patrol
Israel influences on US police violence and control and suppression of protests:
around 20 years of U.S.-Israeli exchange of tactics used in police violence and control, including mass surveillance, racial profiling and the suppression of protests and dissent. Research by JVP and RAIA from 2018 shows that thousands of law enforcement officials from the U.S. have been sent to Israel to meet with military and police forces and to participate in conferences, training, and workshops.Deadly Exchange Report – American Law Enforcement Trainings in Israel
Usage of Israeli Tech in US Border Security
Cellebrite has acted as a strategic partner to Federal law enforcement agencies, providing technology that allows agents to hack, search, and analyze information stored on electronic devices. From 2005 to 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been the highest awarding sub agency, granting Cellebrite 206 contracts totaling $22 million – 27.43% of Cellebrite’s U.S. government contracts – for universal forensic extraction devices (UFEDs), accessories licenses, training and support services.USA Spending GOV – Cellebrite
Cellebrite has sold hacking software and training to ICE, which has allowed it access to an immense amount of personal data without a warrant – including geolocation history, internet browsing history, bank records, text messages, and photos – which they use to terrorize, detain and immigrant communities in record numbers.Mobile-Phone Cloning Tools Need to Be Subject to Oversight — and the Constitution
Since 2005, Customs and Border Protection has held over 117 contracts with Cellebrite worth around $5 million.USA Spending GOV – Cellebrite As of July 2021, Cellebrite has five active contracts with CBP for UFED devices, annual licenses, and personnel training. CBP also uses Cellebrite software to track and survey immigrants, performing warrantless searches at the border and between points of entry as part of the Tech Wall. These illegal searches allow agents to gather intimate details about individuals’ lives in order to interrogate, detain, and ultimately deport individuals seeking asylum.FACTSHEET: THE DANGERS OF BIDEN’S TECH WALL
Human Rights Violations
The US has the highest reported criminal incarceration rate in the world, with 2.2 million people in jails and prisons and another 4.5 million on probation and parole as of 2017. Stark racial disparities exist in the prison population with an imprisonment rate for black men that is almost six times the rate for white men. The death penalty is allowed in 29 states.HRW World Report 2019 – USA
Nearly 1,000 individuals were killed by law enforcement personnel using firearms in 2018. The limited data available suggested that Black people were disproportionately impacted by police use of lethal force.Amnesty 2021 Report – USA/
The USA continued to implement increasingly draconian immigration policies to drastically limit access to asylum procedures at the US-Mexico border, resulting in irreparable harm to thousands of individuals and families. These policies included ongoing unlawful mass pushbacks of tens of thousands of asylum-seekers at the US-Mexico border (constituting refoulement); and the forced return to Mexico of tens of thousands of asylum-seekers under the so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols”.Amnesty 2021 Report – USA/
The authorities also detained asylum-seekers arbitrarily and indefinitely as a means of deterring them from seeking protection and/or compelling them to give up their asylum claims, thereby inflicting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Children, women, older people, LGBTI people and people with disabilities or acute medical conditions were at particular risk of such ill-treatment from the agony of arbitrary detention and inadequate detention facilities.Amnesty 2021 Report – USA/
In 2019 US officials continued to regularly separate migrant children from adult relatives, including from parents. The Trump administration announced in 2019 a new regulation that would allow children and their families to be detained indefinitely.DHS and HHS Announce New Rule to Implement the Flores Settlement Agreement; Final Rule Published to Fulfill Obligations under Flores Settlement Agreement
The US government violated the rights of human rights defenders, including deterring and punishing people that documented systematic human rights violations by US authoritiesAmnesty 2021 Report – USA/. A leaked government document showed that CBP had made a list of journalists, activists, and others addressing immigration issues near the country’s southern border.U.S. officials made list of reporters, lawyers, activists to question at border
Regarding surveillance and data protection, in August 2019, the Trump administration asked Congress to renew section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which has enabled the National Security Agency (NSA) to gather, store, and search hundreds of millions of US telephone records in violation of human rights.HRW World Report 2019 – USA
The USA repeatedly resorted to lethal force in countries around the world, including using armed drones, in violation of its obligations under international human rights law. This usage may have resulted in unlawful killings and injuries, in some cases constituting war crimes.
In May 2019, the Department of Defense reported that in 2018, 120 civilians were killed and approximately 65 civilians injured during US military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia, and no civilian casualties from US operations in Yemen or Libya Annual Report on Civilian Casualties in Connection With United States Military Operations. Independent tracking organizations published civilian casualty estimates related to US operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya that far exceed those of the Defense Department.The Pentagon’s 2018 Civilian Casualties Report: What’s In It and What’s Next
US airstrikes in Afghanistan reached record levels in 2019, with over 8,000 bombs and missiles dropped on Afghanistan between January and September 2019, killing and injuring over 800 civilians, at least 250 of them children. An estimated 14,000 US troops remained in Afghanistan, including US special forces involved in combat operations. CIA-backed Afghan paramilitary units outside the regular chain of command have committed extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances.HRW World Report 2019 – USA