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US approves $1bn funding for Israel’s defence system

March 11, 2022 at 4:12 pm

National Guards are seen by the senate office in Washington D.C., United States on January 07, 2020 [Tayfun Coşkun/Anadolu Agency]

The US Senate approved $1 billion in supplemental funding for Israel’s Iron Dome as part of its domestic and national security programmes.

Also included in the bill is the $3.8 billion in defence aid for Israel in line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed by former President Barack Obama in 2015. US President Joe Biden is due to sign the budget into law today to stop the government shutdown.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defence Minister Benny Gantz praised the decision on Twitter.

Bennett wrote: “Thank you to the U.S. Congress for your overwhelming commitment to Israel’s security [and] for passing the critical security package – including the replenishment of the life-saving Iron Dome.”

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The White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the approval “proves once more that members of both parties can come together to deliver results for the American people.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York also praised the omnibus as the “strongest, boldest and most significant government funding package we’ve seen in a very long time.”

Israel was seeking additional Iron Dome funding of more than $500 million after using the defence system after the war it declared on the besieged Gaza Strip in May last year, reported The Times of Israel.

The deadly Israeli air and artillery strikes during the 11-day assault in May killed 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.