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Bill to provide $1bn for Israel Iron Dome system introduced in US Congress

Israel's Iron Dome aerial defence system is launched to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip, above the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, on May 17, 2021 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]
Israel's Iron Dome aerial defence system is launched to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip, above the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, on May 17, 2021 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

The leader of the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee yesterday introduced legislation to provide $1 billion to Israel to replenish its Iron Dome missile defence system, a day after the funding was removed from a broader spending bill, Reuters reports.

Some of the most liberal House Democrats had objected to the provision and said they would vote against the broad spending bill. This threatened its passage because Republicans were lined up against the plan to fund the federal government through 3 December and raise the nation's borrowing limit.

The removal led Republicans to label Democrats as anti-Israel, despite a long tradition in the US Congress of strong support from both parties for the Jewish state, to which Washington sends billions of dollars in aid every year.

The United States has already provided more than $1.6 billion for Israel to develop and build the Iron Dome system, according to a Congressional Research Service report last year.

Some liberal Democrats have voiced concerns this year about US-Israel policy, citing among other things the many Palestinian casualties to Israeli air strikes in May.

The bill introduced yesterday by Representative Rosa DeLauro provides $1 billion to replace missile interceptors used during that conflict.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had said on Tuesday evening he would bring the Iron Dome bill to the House floor later this week.

READ: Saudi Arabia considers buying Israeli missile defence system

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