Congress moves on aid for additional Iron Dome batteries (WORLD TRIBUNE) WASHINGTON 04/04/12)
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WASHINGTON — Congress is preparing to relay additional
military aid to Israel.
A bill introduced in the House would enable Israel to produce the
Iron Dome missile and rocket defense system. The legislation was
Iron Dome’s performance in Israel’s mini-war with the Gaza Strip in
“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,” Rep. Howard Berman said.
Berman and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-
Lehtinen have introduced the Iron Dome Support Act. The legislation
authorized President Barack Obama to approve additional Israeli
requests for funds to produce the missile and rocket defense
This marked the second U.S. effort in as many years to help Israel’s
Iron Dome program. In 2011, Congress approved $205 million for at
least five batteries.
“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,” Berman said on March 22.
Israel has been operating four Iron Dome batteries. The Israel Air
has set a requirement for 13 batteries of Iron Dome, said to have
interception rate of at least 80 percent.
“At least 10 Iron Dome systems will be necessary in order to defend
whole country — for Israel, and for America as well, an investment in
Dome is an investment in diplomacy that helps create a conditions for
peace,” Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, said.
The Defense Department has reported renewed negotiations between
and the United States for additional support for Iron Dome. Officials
the talks included Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who visited Israel
earlier this year.
“The Department of Defense has been in conversations with the
of Israel about U.S. support for the acquisition of additional Iron
systems and intends to request an appropriate level of funding from
to support such acquisitions based on Israeli requirements and
capacity,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said on March 27.
(Copyright © 2012 East West Services, Inc. 04/04/12)
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