U.S. and Israeli officials, who on Tuesday ended two days of talks about new military and economic aid for Israel, said yesterday that further discussions would be held here before Christmas on the size of the aid package the administration will propose for Israel next year.
Sources familiar with the two sets of talks -- one involving military aid, the other economic assistance to help overcome Israel's fiscal crisis -- confirmed that the Israelis had asked the administration to increase military aid from $1.4 billion to $2.2 billion in the next fiscal year. That would be a jump of slightly more than 50 percent.
The sources said the United States made no specific commitments to the Israeli team headed by Gen. Menachem Meron, director general of the Defense Ministry. Instead, the sources added, the American response is expected to come at the next round in December.
Israel also is expected to ask for an additional two-year package of $1.5 billion in economic aid to help combat raging inflation and balance-of-payments problems. However, the sources said, no specific request was made this week because Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres' government is still completing details of the economic recovery program upon which future U.S. economic help is contingent.
On the military side, the Israelis want the proposed 50 percent increase to undertake a major program of replacing outmoded planes, tanks, missiles and other weapons. The Israelis are understood to have argued that this is essential if their armed forces are to remain stronger than those of their Arab adversaries, particularly at a time when the United States is expected to make multibillion-dollar arms sales to such moderate Arab states as Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
U.S. aid to Israel during the current 1985 fiscal year totals $2.6 billion: $1.4 billion in military aid and $1.2 billion in economic aid. All of the assistance is in the form of grants that Israel does not have to repay.