Obama and Netanyahu
Obama and Netanyahu Reuters

United States President Barack Obama has signed into law the 2014 United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. 

The bill, meant to strengthen the US-Israel alliance, passed unanimously in the House of Representatives earlier this month, after passing unanimously in the Senate in September. 

The law declares Israel's status as a “major strategic partner” of the United States as well as Washington's "unwavering support" for Israel as a Jewish state.

The legislation orders the expansion of US weapons stockpile in Israel by some $200 million in value, to a total of $1.8 billion, so that the Pentagon can be better prepared to conduct military operations in the volatile Middle East.

It also crucially allows Israel to use the weapons in the event of an emergency, as it did this summer during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

The new law will also require the Obama administration to move toward allowing Israel to be included in the top-tier category for license-free exports of certain US technologies and products. 

President Obama signed the bill into law on Friday in Washington, along with a law that bars suspected Nazi war criminals from receiving Social Security benefits. 

The Strategic Partnership Act also encourages the inclusion of Israel in the United States visa waiver program, if it should meet program requirements. Currently, Israel citizens traveling to the United States are required to purchase visas beforehand. 

Increased cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, water, homeland security, agriculture, and alternative fuel technologies is also included in the legislation. 

Jewish organization across the US have praised and thanks Congress for its support. 

One of the bill's authors also lauded Obama's support of the legislation. 

“I applaud the President for signing this bill to strengthen our historic relationship with Israel,” said Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who introduced the bi-partisan legislation with Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).

“This law will enhance cooperation between Israel and the United States on a wide range of issues - from defense to energy to cyber security - so we can work together to address the many challenges facing both countries.”

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