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February 14, 2017 4:06 pm

First Shipment of Heavy Vehicles, Military Equipment Purchased Through $38 Billion US Aid Package Arrives in Israel for Integration Into IDF

avatar by Ruthie Blum

An IDF Caterpillar D9. Photo: Wikipedia.

An IDF Caterpillar D9. Photo: Wikipedia.

The first 20 of a much larger number of heavy military vehicles and other engineering materiel purchased by the Israeli defense establishment from the American company “Caterpillar” arrived in the Jewish state this week, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the multi-million-shekel deal was made possible through the $38 billion 10-year defense aid package agreement reached between the administration of former US President Barack Obama and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September.

The need for the massive purchase, the report said, arose not only because much of the IDF’s equipment is outdated, but due to the nature of the army’s current missions, chief among them detecting Palestinian terror tunnels and maneuvering in enemy territory.

“The new materiel will be integrated into the IDF over the course of the next few years,” a senior Israeli officer told Walla. “It will enable the army flexibility during ongoing and emergency operations.”

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During a complex engineering operation last year to locate terror tunnels extending from Gaza into Israel, the IDF was forced to rent heavy engineering vehicles and other equipment from civilian companies.

As The Algemeiner reported in August, the IDF conducted a different large-scale engineering operation, this one to secure the Lebanese border against infiltration by Hezbollah terrorists. The operation involved the digging of trenches and erection of a fence around the seven-mile-long area of Har Dov (also known as the Shebaa Farms) — a strip of land at the intersection of the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Israeli Golan Heights.

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