WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today after President Obama signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding with the Israeli government to provide $38 billion in security aid over ten years:

“I am delighted that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have reached an agreement that will ensure critical funding for Israel’s military and defense systems, including $500 million each year in missile defense funding to ensure the safety of Israeli civilians. This is the single largest grant of military assistance in our history, and it reaffirms our unshakeable commitment during a time of significant unrest in the Middle East, as well as ongoing threats against Israel’s right to exist.”

“We have never had a better friend or a stronger ally in the Middle East, and this agreement underscores our commitment to ensure Israel can defend itself with the most advanced defense systems available. It is more important than ever that the United States continue to stand with the people of Israel to ensure they can live safely and securely in a Jewish, democratic state. I look forward to continuing to work with the Obama administration and the Israeli government to advance our shared national security interests, promote our common values, and secure peace in the Middle East.”