U.S. quietly suspends military aid to Egypt, despite Israel’s efforts

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The United States has suspended military aid to Egypt, acting as if the military takeover was a coup.

The suspension of aid was reported Monday by the Daily Beast, citing the office of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the head of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee.

By law, U.S. aid is to be suspended to a country whose government is taken over in a coup.

The Obama administration’s official line is that $585 million of promised aid to the Egyptian military in fiscal 2013 is not yet on hold, as it is not due until Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, according to the Daily Beast.

The administration has not made a public announcement on whether a coup took place. It has said that it is conducting a review of all aspects of its relationship with Cairo. Last week, Obama canceled a planned joint military exercise with Egypt over bloodshed during a crackdown on pro-Morsi government protesters.

Israel reportedly has been lobbying American officials hard to sustain the annual $1.5 billion in U.S. aid to Egypt, and to support the military-backed government in Egypt, saying it provides stability.