U.S. Congress supports additional funding for Israel´s Iron Dome systems (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Natasha Mozgovaya 03/23/12)
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The Iron Dome missile defense system has proven its effectiveness, as
it successfully intercepted nearly 60 rockets fired from within the
Gaza Strip last week. U.S. Congressmen were also impressed by the
performance, and Rep. Howard L. Berman, (D-Valley Village) - the top
Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee - introduced the Iron
Dome Support Act (IDSA) authorizing the President to provide
assistance if requested by the Israeli government to procure
additional Iron Dome anti-missile defense systems.
During the 2011 budget year, Congress approved 205 million dollars in
funding for Iron Dome. Congressman Berman said: “When Palestinian
terrorists launched their latest round of missile attacks on innocent
Israelis, the Iron Dome anti-missile system saved innocent lives and
prevented an escalation of hostilities and a full-blown crisis." He
added that "Israel must have the ability to defend itself from rocket
and missile attacks, and the United States will continue to stand by
our strong ally if called upon in times of need."
The Iron Dome Support Act is still in initial stages of the
legislation process. However, it has already won support from both
parties. Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,(R-
FL) was one of the initial supporters of the bill, along with four
other congressmen from both parties.
Israel is currently planning to set up a fourth Iron Dome system.
Israel´s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren wrote in an opinion
piece on the Politico website that "at least ten Iron Dome systems
will be necessary in order to defend the whole country – for Israel,
and for America as well, an investment in Iron Dome is an investment
in diplomacy that helps create a conditions for peace."
Meanwhile, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has questioned
continued funding for the Palestinian Authority, contrary to the
position of the Obama administration. The administration believes
that it is in Palestinian, Israeli, and American interests to
continue funding the Palestinian Authority in order to stabilize the
West Bank, and to improve the situation in Gaza. (© Copyright 2012
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